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Copyright, igis, by 

Published January, 1915 

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Now these were visions in the night of war: 

I prayed for peace; God, answering my prayer, 
Sent down a grievous plague on humankind, 
A black and tumorous plague that softly slew 
Till nations and their armies were no more— • 

And there was perfect peace . . . 
But I awoke, wroth with high God and prayer. 

I prayed for peace; God, answering my prayer, 
Decreed the Truce of Life: — Wings in the sky 
Fluttered and fell; the quick, bright ocean things 
Sank to the ooze; the footprints in the woods 
Vanished; the freed brute from the abattoir 
Starved on green pastures; and within the blood 
The deathfwpfk* 9,1 ihp rpqt oi l|Yi^g«ceased; 
And men g^igrtsd dd<bs anld^t^ii^,* blasphemed and 
cliea— r, ^^ ^•», • -o*, 
^ And there:W4s P5E^?ct p^ce . . . 

But I awoke,^wrofi5 With'hi^b jGod and prayer. 

^ I prayed for peaces ftbd, acsweHng my prayer. 

Bowed the free neck beneath a yoke of sted. 
Dumbed the free voice that springs in lyric speech, 
Sailed the free art that glows on all mankind, 
^ And made one iron nation lord of earth, 

Which in the monstrous matrix of its will 

•* Moulded a spawn of slaves. There was One Might- 

s And there wa$ perfect peace . . . 

But I awoke, wroth with high God and prayer. 


• V 

I prayed for peace; God, answering my prayer. 
Palsied all flesh with bitter fear of death. 


The shuddering slayers fled to town and field 

Beset with carrion visions, foul decay. 

And sickening taints of air that made the earth 

One chamel of the shrivelled lines of war. 

And through all flesh that omnipresent fear 

Became the strangling fingers of a hand 

That choked aspiring thought and brave belief 

And love of loveliness and selfless deed 

Till flesh was all, flesh wallowing, styed in fear. 

In festering fear that stank beyond the stars — 

And there was perfect peace . . . 
But I awoke, wroth with high God and prayer. 

I prayed for peace; God, answering my prayer, 
Spake very softly of forgotten things. 
Spake very softly old remembered words 
Sweet as yoimg starlight. Rose to heaven again 
The mystic challenge of the Nazarene, 
That deathless affirmation: — Man in God 
And God in man wiUing the God to be . . . 
And there TO^ tfffi^fi^d I^fatei* &!i8^ p^ce and war. 
Full year 9n(l;lcsi^*J0y> an^icnsh^iSetand death, 
Doing their wor^pn the.eyplyuig soul. 
The soul of man i^ £k)fl«1fftd G<5d in man. 
For death is nptlupg ui t£e ium of things, 

And life is notlfrnj^ii^-'i^lie^^^O^ diings. 

And flesh b nothihg In the" sMm* of things, 

But man in God is all and God in man, 

Will merged in wiU, love immanent in love. 

Moving through visioned vistas to one goal- 

The goal of man in God and God in man, 

And of all life in God and God in life — 

The far fruition of our earthly prayer, 

"Thy will be done !" . . . There is no other peace I 

William Samuel Johnson. 


In the New York Evening Post for September 
30, 1814, a correspondent writes from Washing* 
ton that on the ruins of the Capitol, which had 
just been burned by a small British army, various 
disgusted patriots had written sentences which 
included the following: ''Fruits of war without 
preparation" and ''Mirror of democracy." A 
century later, in December, 1914, the same 
paper, ardently championing the policy of na- 
tional unpreparedness and claiming that democ- 
racy was incompatible with preparedness against 
war, declared that it was moved to tears by its 
pleastire in the similar championship of the same 
policy contained in President Wilson'^ just-pub- 
lished message to Congress. The message is for 
the most part couched in terms of adroit and 
dexterous, and usually indirect, suggestion, and 
carefully avoids downright, or indeed straight- 
forward, statement of policy — ^the meaning being 
conveyed in questions and hints, often so veiled 
and so obscure as to make it possible to draw 
contradictory conclusions from the words used. 

There are, however, fairly dear statements that we 



• •• 


are "not to depend upon a standing army Bor 
yet upon a reserve army," nor upon any efficient 
system of imiversal training for our young men, 
but upon vague and tmf ormulated plans for en- 
couraging voltmteer aid for militia service by mak- 
ing it ''as attractive as possible" ! The message 
contains such sentences as that the President 
"hopes" that "some of the finer passions" of 
the American people "are in his own heart"; 
that "dread of the power of any other nation 
we are incapable of"; such sentences as, shall 
we "be prepared to defend ourselves against 
attack? We have always found means to do 
that, and shall find them whenever it is neces- 
sary," and, "if asked, are you ready to defend 
yourself? we reply, most assuredly, to the utmost." 
It is difficult for a serious and patriotic citiz^i to 
tmderstand how the President could have been 
willing to make such statements as these. Every 
student even of elementary American history 
knows that in our last foreign war with a for- 
midable opponent, that of 1812, reliance on the 
principles President Wilson now advocates brought 
us to the verge of national ruin and of the break-up 
of the Union. The President must know that at 
that time we had not " fotmd means " even to 
defend the capital city in which he was writing 
his message. He ought to know that at the pres- 
ent time» thanks largely to his own actions, we 


are not "ready to defend ourselves" at all, not 
to speak of defending ourselves '*to the utmost." 
In a state paper subtle prettiness of phrase does 
not offset misteaching of the vital facts of na- 
tional history. 

In 1 8 14 this nation was paying for its folly in 
having for fourteen years conducted its foreign 
policy, and refused to prepare for defense against 
possible foreign foes, in accordance with the views 
of the ultrapadfidsts of that day. It behooves 
us now, in the presence of a world war even vaster 
and more terrible than the world war of the early 
nineteenth century, to beware of taking the advice 
of the equally fooUsh pacificists of otu* own day. 
To follow their advice at the present time might 
expose our democracy to far greater disaster than 
was brought upon it by its disregard of Wash- 
ington's maxim, and its failure to secure peace 
by preparing against war, a hundred years ago. 

In his message President* Wilson has expressed 
his laudable desire that this cotmtry, naturally 
through its President, may act as mediator to 
bring peace among the great European powers. 
With this end in view he, in his message, deprecates 
our taking any eflBcient steps to prepare means for 
our own defense, lest such action might give a 
wrong impression to the great warring powers. 
Furthermore, in his overanxiety not to ofiE^id the 
powerful who have done wrong, he scrupulously 


refrains from sajring one word on behalf of the 
weak who have sufEered wrong. He makes no 
alltision to the violation of the Hague conventions 
at^ Belgium's expense, although this nation had 
solemnly undertaken to be a guarantor of those 
conventions. He makes no protest against the 
cruel wrongs Belgium has suffered. He says not 
one word about the need, in the interests of true 
peace, of the only peace worth having, that steps 
should be taken to prevent the repetition of such 
wrongs in the future. 

This is not right. It is not just to the 
weaker nations of the earth. It comes perilously 
near a betrayal of our own interests. In his 
laudable anxiety to make himself acceptable as a 
mediator to England, and especially to Germany, 
President Wilson loses sight of the fact that his 
first duty is to the United States ; and, moreover, 
desirable though it is that his conduct should 
commend him to Germany, to England, and to 
the other great contending powers, he should 
not for this reason forget the interests of the small 
nations, and above all of Belgium, whose grati- 
tude can never mean anything tangible to him or 
to us, but which has suffered a wrong that in 
any peace negotiations it should be otu: first duty 
to see remedied. 

In the following chapters, substantially repro- 
duced from articles contributed to the Wheeler 


Syndicate and also to The Outlook, The Inde^ 
pendent, and Everybody s,^\hQ attempt is made to 
draw from the present lamentable contest cer- 
tain lessons which it would be well for our peo- 
ple to learn. Among them are the following : 

We, a people akin to and yet different from all 
the peoples of Europe, should be equally friendly 
to all these peoples whUe they behave well, 
should be courteous to and considerate of the 
rights of each of them, but should not hesitate 
to judge each and all of them by their conduct. 

The kind of "neutrality" which seeks to pre- 
serve ''peace" by timidly refusing to live up to 
our plighted word and to denotmce and take 
action against such wrong as that committed in 
the case of Belgium, is unworthy of an honorable 
and powerful people. Dante reserved a special 
place of infamy in the inferno for those base 
angels who dared side neither with evil nor with 
good. Peace is ardently to be desired, but only 
as the handmaid of righteousness. The only 
peace of permanent value is the peace of right- 
eousness. There can be no such peace until well- 
behaved, highly civilized small nations are pro- 
tected from oppre^ion and subjugation. 

National promises, made in treaties, in Hague 
conventions, and the like are like the promises of 
individuals. The sole value of the promise comes 
in the performance. Recklessness in making 


promises is in practice almost or quite as mis- 
chievous and dishonest as indifference to keeping 
promises; and this as much in the case of nations 
as in the case of individuals. Upright men make 
few promises, and keep those they make. 

All the actions of the ultrapadficists for a gen- 
eration past, all their peace congresses and peace 
conventions, have amounted to precisely and ex- 
actly nothing in advancing the cause of peace. 
The peace societies of the ordinary pacificist 
type have in the aggregate failed to accomplish 
even the smallest amoimt of good, have done 
nothing whatever for peace, and the very small 
effect they have had on their own nations has 
been, on the whole, slightly detrimental. Al- 
though usually they have been too futile to be 
even detrimental, their unfortunate tendency has 
so far been to make good men weak and to make 
virtue a matter of derision to strong men. AU- 
inclusive arbitration treaties of the kind hitherto 
proposed and enacted are utterly worthless, are 
hostile to righteousness and detrimental to peace. 
The Americans, within and without Congress, 
who have opposed the fortifying of the Panama 
Canal and the upbuilding of the American navy 
have been false to the honor and the interest of 
the nation and should be condemned by every 
high-minded citizen. 

In every serious crisis the present Hague con- 


ventions and the peace and arbitration and neu- 
trality treaties of the existing tjrpe have proved 
not to be worth the paper on which they were 
written. This is because no method was pro- 
vided of securing their enforcement, of putting 
force behind the pledge. Peace treaties and 
arbitration treaties unbacked by force are not 
merely useless but mischievous in any serious 

Treaties must never be recklessly made; im- 
proper treaties should be. repudiated long before 
the need for action under them arises; and all 
treaties not thus repudiated in advance should be 
scrupulously kept. 

Prom the international standpoint the essential 
thing to do is effectively to put the combined 
power of civilization back of the collective pur- 
pose of civilization to secure justice. This can 
be achieved only by a world league for the peace 
of righteousness, which would guarantee to en- 
force by the combined strength of all the nations 
the decrees of a competent and impartial court 
against any recalcitrant and offending nation. 
Only in this way will treaties become serioiis docu- 

Such a world league for peace is not now in 
sight. Until it is created the prime necessity for 
eadi free and liberty-loving nation is to keep itself 
in such a state of e£Scient preparedness as to be 


able to defend by its own strength both its honor 
and its vital interest. The most important . 
lesson for the United States to learn from the 
present war is the vital need that it shall at once 
take steps thus to prepare. 

Preparedness against war does not always 
avert war or disaster in war any more than the 
existence of a fire department, that is, of prepared- 
ness against fire, always averts fire. But it is 
the only insurance against war and the only in- 
surance against overwhelming disgrace and dis- 
aster in war. Preparedness usually averts war and 
usually prevents disaster in war; and always 
prevents disgrace in war. Preparedness, so far 
from encouraging nations to go to war, has a 
marked tendency to diminish the chance of war 
occurring. Unpreparedness has not the slightest 
effect in averting war. Its only effect is immensely 
to increase the likelihood of disgrace and disaster 
in war. The United States should immediately 
strehgthen its navy and provide for its steady 
training in purely military fimctions; it should 
similarly strengthen the regular army and pro- 
vide a reserve; and, furthermore, it should pro- 
vide for all the yoimg men of the nation military 
training of the kind practised by the free de- 
mocracy of Switzerland. Switzerland is the least 
"militaristic" and most democratic of republics, 
and the best prepared against war. If we follow 


her example we will be caxrying out the precepts 
of Washington. 

We feel no hostility toward any nation engaged 
in the present tremendous struggle. ^We feel an 
infinite sadness because of the black abyss of war 
into which all these nations have been plunged. 
We admire the heroism they have shown. We 
act in a spirit of warm friendliness toward all of 
them, even when obliged to protest against the 
wrong-doing of any one of them. 

Our country should not shirk its duty to man- 
kind. It can perform this duty only if it is true 
to itself. It can be true to itself only by definitely 
resolving to take the position of the just man 
armed; for a proud and self-respecting nation of 
freemen must scom to do wrong to others and 
must also scom tamely to submit to wrong done 
by others. 

Theodore Roosevelt. 

Sagaicose Hill, 
January x, 19x5. 



Foreword vii 


I. The Duty op Sblf-Defensb and op 

Good Conduct toward Others i 

II. The Belgian Tragedy .... 15 

III. Unwise Peace Treaties a Menace 
TO Righteousness 44 

IV. The Causes op the War ... 60 
V. How TO Strive por World Peace 74 

VI. The Peace op Righteousness . . 88 

VII. An International Posse Comita- 

TUS 1Q4 

VIII. Selp-Depense without Milita- 
rism ......... 128 

IX. Our Peacemaker, the Navy . . 156 

— X. Preparedness AGAINST Wa?, ♦ . 174 

XI. Utopia or Hell? ' 220 

XII. Summing Up 244 



IN this country' we are both shocked and 
stunned by the awftd cataclysm which has 
engulfed civilized Europe. By only a few 
men was the possibility of such a wide-spread 
and hideous disaster even admitted. Most per- 
sons, even after it occurred, felt as if it was un- 
believable. They felt that in what it pleased 
enthusiasts to speak of as ''this age of enlighten- 
ment" it was impossible that primal passion,, 
working hand in hand with the most modem 
scientific organization, should loose upon the 
world these forces of dread destruction. 

In the last week in July the men and women of 
the populous civilized countries of Europe were 
leading their usual ordered lives, busy and yet 
soft, lives carried on with comfort and luxury, 
with appliances for ease and pleasure such as 
never before were known, lives led in a routine 
whidb to most people seemed part of the natural 
order of things, something which could not be 
disturbed by shocks such as the world knew of 


old. A fortnight later hell yawned under the 
feet of these hard-working or pleasure-seeking 
men and women, and woe smote them as it smote 
the peoples we read of in the Old Testament or 
in the histories of the Middle Ages. Through 
the rents in our smiling surface of civilization the 
volcanic fires beneath gleamed red in the gloom. 

What cjcctured in Europe is on a giant scale 
like the disaster to the Titanic. One moment 
the great ship was speeding across the ocean^ 
equipped with every device for comfort, safety, 
and luxtuy. The men in her stoke-hold and 
steerage were more comfortable than the most 
luxurious travellers of a century ago. The peo- 
ple in her first-dass cabins enjoyed every luxury 
that a luxurious city life could demand and were 
screened not only from danger but from the 
least discomfort or annoyance. Suddenly, in one 
awful and shattering moment, death smote the 
floating host, so busy with work and play. They 
were in that moment shot back through immea- 
surable ages. At one stroke they were hurled 
from a life of effortless ease back into elemental 
disaster; to disaster in which baseness showed 
naked, and heroism burned like a flame of light. 

In the face of a calamity so world-wide as the 
present war, it behooves us all to keep our heads 
clear and to read aright the lessons taught us; 
for we otu^selves may suffer dreadful penalties if 


we read these lessons wrong. The temptation 
always is only to half-leam such a lesson, for a 
half-truth is always simple, whereas the whole 
truth is very, very difficult. Unfortunately, a 
half-truth, if applied, may turn out to be the 
most dangerous type of falsehood. 

Now, otu* business here in America in the face 
of this cataclysm is twofold. In the first place it 
is imperative that we shall take the steps neces- 
sary in order, by our own strength and wisdom, to 
safeguard ourselves against such disaster as has 
occurred in Etirope. Events have shown that 
peace treaties, arbitration treaties, neutrality 
treaties, Hague treaties, and the like as at pres- 
ent existing, offer not even the smallest protec- 
tion against such disasters. The prime duty of 
the moment is therefore to keep Uncle Sam in 
such a position that by his own stout heart and 
ready hand he can defend the vital honor and 
vital interest of the American people. 

But this is not our only duty, even although it 
is the only duty we can immediately perform. 
The horror of what has occurred in Europe, which 
has drawn into the maelstrom of war large parts 
erf Asia, Africa, Australasia, and even America, is 
altogether too great to permit us to rest supine 
without endeavoring to prevent its repetition. 
We are not to be excused if we do not make a 
resolute and intelligent effort to devise some 


scheme which will minimize the chance for a re- 
currence of such horror in the future and which 
will at least limit and alleviate it if it should occur. 
In other wctfds, it is our duty to try to devise 
some efficient plan for securing the peace of 
righteousness throughout the world. 

That any plan will surely and automatically 
bring peace we cannot promise. Nevertheless, I 
think a plan can be devised which will render it 
far more diffictilt than at present to plunge us 
into a world war and far more easy than at pres- 
ent to find workable and practical substitutes 
even for ordinary war. In order to do this, how- 
ever, it is necessary that we shall fearlessly look 
facts in the face. We cannot devise methods for 
securing peace which will actually work tmless we 
are in good faith willing to face the fact that the 
present all-indusive arbitration treaties, peace 
conferences, and the like, upon which our well- 
meaning pacificists have pinned so much hope, 
have proved utterly worthless imder serious 
strain. We mtist face this fact and clearly imder- 
stand the reason for it before we can advance an 
adequate remedy. 

It is even more important not to pay heed to 
the pathetic infatuation of the well-meaning per- 
sons who declare that this is "the last great war." 
During the last century such assertions have 
been made again and again after the dose of 


every great war. They represent nothing but an 
amiable fatuity. The strong men of the United 
States intist protect the feeble; but they must not 
trust for guidance to the feeble. 

In these chapters I desire to ask my fellow 
oountrjmaen and countrjrwomen to consider the 
various lessons which are being writ in letters of 
blood and sted before our eyes. I wish to ask 
their consideration, first, ci the immediate need 
that we shall realize the utter hopelessness under 
actually existing conditions of our trusting for 
our safety merely to the good-will of other powers 
or to treaties or other "bits of paper" or to any- 
thing except our own steadfast courage and pre- 
paredness. Second, I wish to point out what a 
oomi^cated and difficult thing it is to work for 
peace and how difficult it may be to combine 
doing one's duty in the endeavor to bring peace 
for others without failing in one's duty to sectire 
peace for one's self; and therefore I wish to point 
out how unwise it is to make foolish promises 
which under great strain it would be impossible 
to keep. 

Third, I wish to try to give practical expression 
to what I know is the hope of the great body of 
our people. We should endeavor to devise some 
method ci action, in common with other nations, 
whereby there shall be at least a reasonable 
chance of securing world peace and, in any event, 


of narrowing the sphere of possible war and its 
horrors. To do this it is equally necessary un- 
flinchingly to antagonize the position of the men 
who believe in nothing but brute force exercised 
without regard to the rights of other nations, and 
unhesitatingly to condemn the well-meaning but 
luiwise persons who seek to mislead our people 
into the belief that treaties,, mere bits of paper, 
when imbacked by force and when there is no 
one responsible for their enforcement, can be of 
the slightest use in a serious crisis. Force un- 
backed by righteousness is abhorrent. The effort 
to substitute for it vague declamation for right- 
eousness unbacked by force is silly. The police- 
man must be put back of the judge in interna- 
tional law just as he is back of the judge in mu- 
nicipal law. The effective power of civilization 
must be put back of civilization's collective pur- 
pose to secure reasonable justice between nation 
and nation. 

First, consider the lessons taught by this war 
as to the absolute need tmder existing conditions 
of otir being willing, ready, and able to defend 
ourselves from unjust attack. What has befallen 
Belgium and Luxembourg — ^not to speak of China 
—during the past five months shows the utter 
hopelessness of trusting to any treaties, no matter 
how well meant, tmless back of them lies power 
sufBicient to secure their enforcement. 


At the outset let me explain with all possible 
emphasis that in what I am about to say at this 
time I am not criticising nor taking sides with 
any one of the chief combatants in either group of 
warring powers, so far as the relations between 
and among these chief powers themselves are 
concerned. The causes for the present contest 
stretch into the immemorial past. As far as the 
present generations of Germans, Frenchmen, 
Russians, Austrians, and Servians are concerned, 
their actions have been determined by deeds done 
and left undone by many generations in. the past. 
Not only the sovereigns but the peoples engaged 
on each side believe sincerely in the justice of 
their several causes. This is convincingly shown 
by the action of the Socialists in Germany, Prance, 
and Belgium. Of all latter-day political parties 
the Socialist is the one in which international 
brotherhood is most dwelt upon, while interna- 
tional obligations are placed on a par with national 
obligations. Yet the Socialists in Germany and 
the Socialists in France and Belgium have all 
alike thrown themselves into this contest with 
the same enthusiasm and, indeed, the same bitter- 
ness as the rest of their coimtrymen. I am not 
at this moment primarily concerned with passing 
judgment upon any of the powers. I am merely 
instancing certain things that have occurred, be- 
cause of the vital importance that we as a people 


should take to heart the lessons taught by these 

At the end of July Belgium and Luxembourg 
were independent nations. By treaties executed 
in 1832 land 1867 their neutrality had been guar- 
anteed by the great nations round about them — 
Germany, Prance, and England. Their neutrality 
was thus guaranteed with the express purpose of 
keeping them at peace and preventing any in- 
vasion of their territory during war. Luxem- 
bourg built no fortifications and raised no army, 
trusting entirely to the pledged faith of her 
neighbors. Belgium, an extremely thrifty, pro- 
gressive, and prosperous industrial country, whose 
people are exceptionally hard-working and law- 
abiding, raised an army and built forts for purely 
defensive purposes. Neither nation committed 
the smallest act of hostility or aggression against 
any one of its neighbors. Each behaved with 
absolute propriety. Each was absolutely innocent 
of the slightest wrong-doing. Neither has the 
very smallest responsibility for the disaster that 
has overwhelmed her. Nevertheless as soon as 
the wa^r broke out the territories of both were 

Luxembourg made no resistance. It is now 
practically incorporated in Germany. Other 
nations have almost forgotten its existence and 
not the slightest attention has been paid to its 


fate simply because it did not fight, simply be- 
cause it trusted solely to peaceful measures and 
to the treaties which were supposed to guarantee 
it against harm. The eyes of the world, however, 
are on Belgium because the Belgians have fought 
hard and gallantly for all that makes life best 
worth having to honorable men and women. 
In consequence, Belgium has been trampled 
under foot. At this moment not only her men 
but her women and children are enduring misery 
so dreadful that it is hard for us who live at peace 
to visualize it to ourselves. 

The fate of Luxembourg and of Belgium offers 
an instructive commentary on the folly of the 
well-meaning people who a few years ago insisted 
that the Panama Canal should not be fortified 
and that we should trust to international treaties 
to protect it. After what has occurred in Europe 
no sane man has any excuse for believing that 
such treaties would avail us in our hour of need 
any more than they have availed Belgium and 
Luxembourg — ^and, for that matter, Korea and 
China — ^in their hours of need. 

If a great world war should arise or if a great 
world-power were at war with us vmder conditions 
that made it desirable for other nations not to be 
drawn into the quarrel, any step that the hostile 
nation's real or fancied need demanded would 
unquestionably be taken, and any treaty that 


stood in the way would be treated as so much 
waste paper except so far as we could back it by 
force. If under such circumstances Panama is 
retained and controlled by us, it will be because 
otir forts and garrison and our fleets on the ocean 
make it tmsaf e to meddle with the canal and the 
canal zone. Were it only protected by a treaty 
— ^that is, unless behind the treaty lay both force 
and the readiness to use force — ^the canal would 
not be safe for twenty-four hours. Moreover, 
in such case, the real blame would lie at our own 
doors. We would not be helped at all, we would 
merely make ourselves objects of derision, if 
under these drctunstances we screamed and clam- 
ored about the iniquity of those who violated the 
treaty and took possession of Panama. The 
blame would rightly be placed by the world upon 
our own supine folly, upon our own timidity and 
weakness, and we would be adjudged unfit to hold 
what we had shown ourselves too soft and too 
short-sighted to retain. 

The most obvious lesson taught by what has 
occurred is the utter worthlessness of treaties 
unless backed by force. It is evident that as 
things are now, all-inclusive arbitration treaties, 
neutrality treaties, treaties of alliance, and the 
like do not serve one particle of good in protect- 
ing a peaceful nation when some great military 
power deems its vital needs at stake, unless the 


rights of this peaceful nation are backed by force. 
The devastation of Belgium, the burning of Lou- 
vain, the holding of Brussels to heavy ransom, 
the killing of women and children, the wrecking 
of houses in Antwerp by bombs from air-ships 
have excited gentiine sympathy among neutral 
nations. But no neutral nation has protested; 
and while unquestionably a neutral nation like 
the United States ought to have protested, yet 
the only certain way to make such a protest 
effective would be* to put force back of it. Let 
our people remember that what has been done to 
Belgium would unquestionably be done to us by 
any great niilitary power with which we were 
drawn into war, no matter how just our cause. 
Moreover, it would be done without any more 
protest on the part of neutral nations than we 
have ourselves made in the case of Belgium. 

If, as an aftermath of this war, some great Old- 
World power or combination of powers made war 
on us because we objected to their taking and 
fortifying Magdalena Bay or St. Thomas, our 
chance of securing justice would rest exclusively 
on the efficiency of our fleet and army, especially 
the fleet. No arbitration treaties, or peace trea- 
ties, of the kind recently iiegotiated at Washing- 
ton by the bushelful, an3 no tepid good-will of 
neutral powers, wotdd help us in even the small- 
est degree. If our fleet were conquered. New 


York and San Francisco would be seized and 
probably each would be destroyed as Louvain 
was destroyed unless it were put to ransom as 
Brussels has been put to ransom. Under such 
circumstances outside powers would undoubtedly 
remain neutral exactly as we have remained neu- 
tral as regards Belgium. 

Under such conditions my own view is very 
strongly that the national interest would be best 
served by refusing the payment of all ransom 
and accepting the destruction of the cities and 
then continuing the war until by our own strength 
and indomitable will we had exacted ample 
atonement from our foes. This would be a 
terrible price to pay for unpreparedness; and 
those responsible for the unpreparedness would 
thereby be proved guilty of a crime against the 
nation. Upon them would rest the guilt of all 
the blood and misery. The innocent would have 
to atone for their folly and strong men would 
have to undo and offset it by submitting to the 
destruction of ottr cities rather than consent to 
save them by paying money which would be 
used to prosecute the war against the rest of the 
country. If our people are wise and far-sighted 
and if they still have in their blood the iron of 
the men who fought under Grant and Lee, they 
will, in the event of such a war, insist upon this 
price being paid, upon this course being followed. 


They will then in the end exact, from the nation 
which assails us, atonement for the misery and 
redress f<Mr the wrong done. They will not rely 
upon the ineffective good-will of neutral outsiders. 
They will show a temper that win make our foes 
think twice before meddling with us again. 

The great danger to peace so far as this coun* 
try is concerned arises from such pacificists as 
those who. have made and applauded our recent 
all-inclusive a]i>itration, treaties, who advocate 
the abandcmment dF our poHcy of building battten 
ships and the refusal to fortify the Panama Canal. 
It is always possible that these persons may suc- 
ceed in impressing foreign nations with the bdief 
that th^ represent our people. If they ever do 
succeed in creating this conviction in the minds 
of oti^ naticms, the fate of the United States 
will speedily be that of China and Luxembourg, or 
else it will be saved therefrom only by long-drawn 
war, accompanied by incredible bloodshed and 

It is those among us who would go to the front 
in such event — as I and my four sons would go — 
who are the really far-sighted and earnest friends 
of peace. We desire meastires taken in the real 
interest of peace because we, who at need wotild 
fight, but who earnestly hope never to be forced 
to fight, have most at stake in keeping peace. 
We object to the actions of those who do most 


talking about the necessity of peace because we 
think they are really a menace to the just and 
honorable peace which alone this country will in 
the long run support. We object to their actions 
because we believe they represent a course of 
(conduct which may at any time produce a war 
in which we and not they would labor and suffer. 
In such a war the prime fact to be remembered 
is that the men really responsible for it would not 
be those who would pay the penalty. The ultra- 
pacificists are rarely men who go to battle. Their 
f atdt or their folly would be expiated by the blood 
of countless thousands of plain and decent Amer- 
ican citizens of the stamp of those, North and 
South alike, who in the Civil War laid down all 
they had, including life itself, in battling for the 
right as it was given to them to see the right. 



PEACE is worthless unless it serves the 
caiise of righteousness. Peace which con- 
secrates militarism is of small service. 
Peace obtained by crushing the liberty and life 
of just and tmoffending peoples is as cruel as the 
most cruel war. It should ever be oiu* honorable 
effort to serve one of the world's most vital needs 
by doing all in our power to bring about conditions 
which will give some effective protection to weak 
or small nations which themselves keep order 
and act with justice toward the rest of mankind. 
There can be no higher international duty than 
to safeguard the existence and independence of 
industrious, orderly states, with a high personal 
and national standard of conduct, but without 
the military force of the great powers; states, 
for instance, such as Belgium, Holland, Switzer- 
land, the Scandinavian countries, Uruguay, and 
others. A peace which left Belgium's wrongs un- 
redressed and which did not provide against the 
recurrence of such wrongs as those from which 
she has suffered would not be a real peace. ' 



As regards the actions of most of the com- 
batants in the hideous world-wide war now raging 
it is possible sincerely to take and defend either 
of the opposite views concerning their actions. 
The causes of any such great and terrible contest 
almost always lie far back in the past, and the 
seeming immediate cause is usually itself in major 
part merely an effect of many preceding causes. 
The assassination of the heir to the Austro- 
Hungarian throne was partly or largely due to 
the existence of political and often mtirderous 
secret societies in Servia which the Servian 
government did not suppress; and it did not sup- 
press them because the "bondage" of the men 
and women of the Servian race in Bosnia and 
Herzegovina to Austria was such a source of ever- 
present irritation to the Servians that their own 
government was powerless to restrain them. 
Strong arguments can be advanced on both the 
Austrian and the Servian sides as regards this 
initial cause of the present world-wide war. 

Again, when once the war was started between 
Austria and Servia, it can well be argued that it 
was impossible for Russia not to take part. Had 
she not done so, she would have forfeited her 
daims to the leadership of the smaller Slav peo- 
ples; and the leading Russian liberals enthusias- 
tically support the Russian government in this 
matter, asserting that Russia's triumph in this 


particular struggle means a check to militarism, 
a stride toward greater freedom, and an advance 
in justice toward the Pole, the Jew, the Finn, 
and the people of the Caucasus. 

When Russia took part it may well be argued 
that it was impossible for Germany not to come 
to the defense of Austria, and that disaster would 
surely have attended her arms had she not fol- 
lowed the course she actually did follow as re- 
gards her opponents on her western frontier. As 
for her wonderful eflfidency — ^her equipment, the 
foresight and decision of her General Staff, her 
instantaneous action, her indomitable persistence 
— ^there can be nothing but the praise and ad- 
miration due a stem, virile, and masterful peo- 
ple, a people entitled to hearty respect for their 
patriotism and far-seeing self-devotion. 

Yet again, it is utterly impossible to see how 
Prance could have acted otherwise than as she 
did act. She had done nothing to provoke the 
crisis, even although it be admitted that in the 
end she was certain to side with Russia. War 
was not declared by her, but against her, and she 
could not have escaped it save by having pursued 
in the past, and by willingness to pursue in the 
future, a course which would have left her as 
helpless as Luxembourg — ^and Luxembourg's fate 
shows that helplessness does not offer the small- 
est guarantee of peace. 


When once Belgium was invaded, every dr- 
cumstance of national honor and interest forced 
England to act precisely as she did act. She 
could not have held up her head among 4iations 
had she acted otherwise. In particular, she is 
entitled to the praise of all true lovers of peace, 
for it is only by action such as she took that 
neutrality treaties and treaties guaranteeing the 
rights of small powers will ever be given any 
value. The actions of Sir EdwsCrd Grey as he 
guided Britain's foreign policy showed adherence 
to lofty standards of right combined with firm* 
ness of courage under great strain. The British < 
position, and incidentally the German position, 
are tersely stated in the following extract from 
the report of Sir Edward Goschen, who at the 
outset of the war was British ambassador in 
Berlin. The report, in speaking of the inter- 
view between the ambassador and the German 
imperial chancellor, Herr von Bethmann-HoUweg, 

The chancellor [spoke] about twenty minutes. He 
said the step taken by Great Britain was terrible to a 
degree. Just for a word, "neutrality," a word which in 
war time had been so often disr^arded, just for a scrap 
of paper, Great Britain was going to make war on a 
kindred nation. What we had done was unthinkable. 
It was like striking a man from behind while he waar 
fighting for his life against two assailants. 


I protested strongly against this statement, and said 
that in the same way as he wished me to understand 
that for strategical reasons it was a matter of life or 
death to Germany to advance through Belgium and 
violate the latter's neutrality, so I would wish him to 
understand that it was, so to speak, a matter of life or 
death for the honor of Great Britain that she should keep 
her solemn engagement to do her utmost to defend 
Belgium's neutrality if attacked. A solemn compact 
simply had to be kept, or what confidence could any one 
have in England's engagement in the future? 

There is one nation, however, as to which 
there is no room for difference of opinion, whether 
we consider her wrongs or the justice of her 
actions. It seems to me impossible that any 
man can fail to feel the deepest sympathy with a 
nation whith is absolutely guiltless of any wrong- 
doing, which has given proof of high valor, and 
yet •which has suffered terribly, and which, if 
there is any meaning in the words "right" and 
"wrong," has suflFered wrongfully. Belgium is 
not in the smallest degree responsible for any of 
the conditions that during the last half century 
have been at work to impress a certain fatalistic 
stamp upon those actions of Austria, Russia, 
Germany, and Prance which have rendered this 
war inevitable. No European nation has had 
anything whatever to fear from Belgium. There 
was not the smallest danger of her making any 
aggressive movement, not even the slightest ag- 



gressive movement, against any one of her neigh- 
bors. Her population was mainly industrial and 
was absorbed in peaceful business. Her people 
were thrifty, hard-working, highly civilized, and 
in no way aggressive. She owed her national 
existence to the desire to create an absolutely 
neutral state. Her neutrality had been solemnly 
guaranteed by the great powers, including Ger- 
many as well as England and France. 

Suddenly, and out of a clear sky, her territory 
was invaded by an overwhehning German army. 
According to the newspaper reports, it was ad- 
mitted in the Reichstag by German members 
that this act was "wrongful." Of cotirse, if 
there is any meaning to the words "right" and 
"wrong" in international matters, the act was 
wrong. The men who shape German policy take 
the grotmd that in matters of vital national mo- 
ment there are no such things as abstract right 
and wrong, and that when a great nation is 
struggling for its existence it can no more con- 
sider the rights of neutral powers than it can 
consider the rights of its own citizens as these 
rights are construed in times of peace, and that 
everything must bend before the supreme law of 
national self-preservation. Whatever we may 
think of the morality of this plea, it is certain 
that almost all great nations have in time past 
again and again acted in accordance with it. 


England's conduct toward Denmark in the Na- 
poleonic wars, and the conduct of both England 
and France toward us during those same wars, 
admit only of this species of justification; and 
with less excuse the same is true of our conduct 
toward Spain in Florida nearly a century ago. 
Nevertheless we had hoped by the action taken 
at The Hague to mark an advance in international 
morality in such matters. The action taken by 
Germany toward Belgium, and the failure by 
the United States in any way to protest against 
such action, shows that there has been no advance. 
I wish to point out just what was done, and to 
emphasize Belgium's absolute innocence and the 
horrible suffering and disaster that have over- 
whehned her in spite of such innocence. And I 
wish to do this so that we as a nation may learn 
aright the lessons taught by the dreadful Belgian 

Germany's attack on Belgium was not due to 
any sudden impulse. It had been carefully 
planned for a score of years, on the asstmiption 
that the treaty of neutrality was, as Herr von Beth- 
mann-Hollweg observed, nothing but "paper," 
and that the question of breaking or keeping it 
was to be considered solely from the standpoint 
of Germany's interest. The German railways up 
to the Belgian border are for the most part mili- 
tary roads, which have been double-tracked with 


a view to precisely the overwhelming attack that 
has just been delivered into and through Belgium. 
The great German military text-books, such as 
that of Bemhardi, in discussing and studying 
possible German campaigns against Russia and 
France, have treated advances through Belgium 
or Switzerland exactly as they have treated 
possible advances through German territory, it 
being assumed by the writers and by all for whom 
they wrote that no efficient rulers or military 
men wotdd for a second consider a neutrality 
treaty or any other kind of treaty if it became 
to the self-interest of a party to break it. It 
must be remembered that the German system 
in no way limits its disregard of conventions to 
disregard of neutrality treaties. For example, in 
General von Bemhardi's book, in speaking of 
naval warfare, he lays down the following rule: 
*' Sometimes in peace even, if there is no other 
means of defending one's self against a superior 
force, it will be advisable to attack the enemy by 
torpedo and submarine boats, and to inflict upon 
him unexpected losses. . . . War upon the enemy 's 
trade must also be conducted as ruthlessly as 
possible, since only then, in addition to the ma- 
terial damage inflicted upon the enemy, the 
necessary terror is spread among the merchant 
marine, which is even more important than the 
capture of actual prizes. A certain amount of 


terrorism must be practised on the sea, maJdng 
peaceful tradesmen stay in safe harbors." 

Belgium has felt the full effect of the practical 
application of these principles, and Germany has 
profited by them exactly as her statesmen and 
soldiers believed she would profit. They have 
believed that the material gain of trampling on 
Belgium would more than offset any material op- 
position which the act would arouse, and they 
treat with the utter and contemptuous derision 
which it deserves the mere pacificist clamor 
against wrong which is unaccompanied by the 
intention and effort to redress wrong by force. 

The Belgians, when invaded, valiantly de- 
fended themselves. They acted precisely as 
Andreas Hofer and his Tyrolese, and Koemer 
and the leaders of the North German Tugendbund 
acted in their day; and their fate has been the 
fate of Andreas Hofer, who was shot after his 
capture, and of Koemer, who was shot in battle. 
They fought valiantly, and they were overcome. 
They were then stamped under foot. Probably 
it is physically impossible for our people, living 
softly and at ease, to visualize to themselves the 
dreadful woe that has come upon the people of 
Belgium, and especially upon the poor people. 
Let each man think of his neighbors — of the car- 
penter, the station agent, the day-laborer, the 
farmer, the grocer— who are round about him, 


and think of these men deprived of their all, th&r 
homes destroyed, their sons dead or prisoners, 
their wives and children half starved, overcome 
with fatigue and horror, stumbling their way to 
some city of refuge, and when they have reached 
it, finding air-ships wrecking the houses with 
bombs and destrojdng women and children. The 
Kin^ shared the toil and danger of the fighting 
men ; the Queen and her children suffered as other 
mothers and children suffered. 

Unquestionably what has been done in Belgium 
has been done in accordance with what the Ger- 
mans sincerely believe to be the course of conduct 
necessitated by Germany's struggle for life. 
But Germany's need to struggle for her life does 
not make it any easier for the Belgians to suffer 
death. The Germans are in Belgium from no 
fault of the Belgians but piu'ely because the Ger- 
mans deemed it to their vital interest to violate 
Belgium's rights. Therefore the ultimate re- 
sponsibility for what has occiured at Louvain 
and what has occtured and is occurring in Brus- 
sels rests upon Germany and in no way upon 
Belgitmi. The invasion could have been averted 
by no action of Belgium that was consistent with 
her honor and self-respect. The Belgians would 
have been less than men had they not defended 
themselves and their country. For this, and for 
this only, they are suffering, somewhat as my 


own German ancestors stiffered when Turenne 
ravaged the Palatinate, somewhat as my Irish 
ancestors suffered in the struggles that attended 
the conquests and reconquests of Ireland in the 
days of Cromwell aad William. The suffering is 
by no>jneans as great, but it is very great, and it 
is altogether too nearly akin to what occurred in 
the seventeenth century for us of the twentieth 
centtiryvto feel overmuch pleased with the amount 
of advance that has been made. It is neither 
necessary nor at the present time possible to sift 
from the charges, cotmtercharges, and denials the 
exact facts as to the acts alleged to have been 
committed in various places. The prime fact as 
regards Belgium is that Belgium was an entirely 
peaceful and genuinely neutral power which had 
been guilty of no offence whatever. What has 
befallen her is due to the further fact that a great, 
highly civiUzed military power deemed that its 
own vital interests rendered imperative the in- 
fliction of this suffering on an inoffensive although 
valiant and patriotic Uttle nation. 

I admire and respect the German people. I 
am proud of the German blood in my veins. But 
the sympathy and support of the American people 
should go out unreservedly to Belgium, and we 
should learn the lesson taught by Belgium's fall. 
What has occurred to Belgium is precisely what 
would occur under similar conditions to us, unless 


we were able to show that the action wottld be 

The rights and wrongs of these cases where 
nations violate the rules of morality in order to 
meet their own supposed needs can be precisely 
determined only when all the facts are known and 
when men's blood is cool. Nevertheless, it is im- 
perative, in the interest of civilization, to create 
international conditions which shall neither re- 
quire nor pennit such action in the future, ^fore- 
over, we should imderstand clearly just what 
these actions are and just what lessons we of 
the United States shotdd learn from them so far 
as our own future is concerned. 

There are several such lessons. One is how 
complicated instead of how simple it is to decide 
what course we ought to follow as regards any 
given action supposed to be in the interest of 
peace. Of course I am speaking of the thing 
and not the name when I speak of peace. The 
ultrapadficists are capable of takmg any posi- 
tion, yet I suppose that few among them now 
hold that there was value in the ** peace" which 
was obtained by the concert of European powers 
when they prevented interference with Turkey 
while the Turks butchered some hundreds of 
thousands of Armenian men, women, and chil- 
dren. In the same way I do not suppose that 
even the ultrapadficists really feel that "peace" 


is triumphant in Belgium at the present moment. 
President Wilson has been much applauded by 
all the professional pacificists because he has an- 
nounced that our desire for peace must make us 
secure it for ourselves by a neutrality so strict 
as to forbid our even whispering a protest against 
wrong*doing, lest such whispers might cause dis- 
turbance to our ease and well-being. We pay 
the penalty of this action — or, rather, supine 
inaction — on behalf of peace for ourselves, by for- 
feiting our right to do anything on behalf of peace 
for the Belgians in the present. We can maintain 
our neutrality only by refusal to do anjrthing to 
aid unoffending weak powers which are dragged 
into the gulf of bloodshed and misery through no 
fault of their own. It is a grim eonmient on the 
professional pacificist theories as hitherto devel- 
oped that, according to their view, our duty to 
preserve peace for ourselves necessarily means the 
abandonment of all effective effort to secure peace 
for other unoffending nations which through no 
fault of their own are trampled down by war. 

The next lesson we should learn is of far more 
immediate consequence to us than speculations 
about peace in the abstract. Our i)eople should 
wake up to the fact that it is a poor thing to live 
in a fool's paradise. What has occurred in this 
war ought to bring home to everybody what has 
of oourse long been known to all really well- 


informed men who were willing to face the truth 
and not try to dodge it. Until some method is 
devised of putting effective force behind arbi- 
tration and neutrality treaties neither these 
treaties nor the vague and elastic body of custom 
which is misleadingly termed international law 
will have any real effect in any serious crisis be- 
tween us and any save perhaps one or two of the 
great powers. The average great military power 
looks at these matters purely from the standpoint 
of its own interests. Several months ago, for 
instance, Japan declared war on Germany. She 
has paid scrupulous regard to our own rights 
and feelingis in the matter. The contention that 
she is acting in a spirit of mere disinterested 
altruism need not be considered. Stte believes 
that she has wrongs to redress and strong national 
interests to preserve. Nineteen years ago Ger- 
many joined with Russia to check Japan's progress 
after her victorious war with China, and has 
since then itself built up a German colonial pos- 
session on Chinese soil. Doubtless the Japanese 
have never for one moment forgotten this act of 
Germany. Doubtless they also regard the pres- 
ence of a strong European military power in 
China so near to Korea and Manchuria as a 
menace to Japan's national life. With business- 
like coolness the soldierly statesmen of Nippon 
have taken the chance which offered itself of at 


little cost retaliating for the injury inflicted upon 
them in the past and removing an obstacle to 
their futtire dominance in eastern Asia. Korea 
is absolutely Japan's. To be sure, by treaty it 
was solemnly covenanted that Korea should re- 
main independent. But Korea was itself help- 
less to enforce the treaty, and it was out of the 
question to suppose that any other naticm with 
no interest of its own at stake would attempt to 
do for the Koreans what they were utterly im- 
able to do for themselves. Moreover, the treaty 
rested on the false asstmiption that Korea could 
govern herself well. It had already been shown 
that she could not in any real sense govern her- 
self ^ at all. Japan could not afford to see Korea 
in the hands of a great foreign power. She re- 
garded her duty to her children and her chil- 
dren's children as overriding her treaty obliga- 
tions. Therefore, when Japan thought the right 
time had come, it calmly tore up the treaty and 
took Korea, with the polite and businesslike 
eflfidency it had already shown in dealing with 
Russia, and was afterward to show in dealing 
with Germany. The treaty, when tested, proved 
as utterly worthless as our own recent aU-inclusive 
arbitration treaties — ^and worthlessness can go no 

Hysteria does not tend toward edification; and 
in this country hysteria is tmf orttmately too often 


the earmark of the ultrapadficist. Surely at 
this time there is more reason than ever to re- 
member Professor Lotmsbury's remark concern- 
ing the ''infinite capacity of the htiman brain to 
withstand the introduction of knowledge." The 
comments of some doubtless, well-meaning citi- 
zens of our own country upon the lessons taught 
by this terrible cataclysm of war are really inex- 
plicable to any man who forgets the truth that 
Professor Loimsbury thus set forth. A writer of 
articles for a newspaper sjmdicate the other day 
stated that Germany was being opposed by the 
rest of the world because it had ''inspired fear." 
This thesis can, of course, be sustained. But 
Belgium has inspired no fear. Yet it has suflEered 
infinitely more than Germany. Luxembourg in- 
spired no fear. Yet it has been quietly taken 
possession of by Germany. The writer in ques- 
tion would find it puzzling to point out the par- 
ticulars in which Belgium and Luxembourg — ^not 
to speak of China and Korea — are at this moment 
better off than Germany. Of course they are 
worse off; and this because Germany has "inspired 
fear," and they have not. ^Nevertheless, this 
writer drew the conclusion that "fear" was the 
only emotion which ought not to be inspired; and 
he advocated our abandonment of battle-ships and 
other means of defense, so that we might never 
inspire "fear" in any-one. He forgot that, while 


it is a bad thing to inspire f ear» it is a much worse 
thing to inspire contempt* Another newspaper 
writer pointed out that on the frontier between 
us and Canada ^ere were no forts, and yet peace 
obtained; and drew the conclusion that forts and 
armed forces were inimical to national safety. 
This worthy soul evidently did not know that 
Luxembourg had no forts or armed forces, and 
therefore succumbed without a protest of any 
kind. If he does not admire the heroism of the 
Belgians and prefer it to the tame submission of 
the Luxembourgers, then this writer is himself 
unfit to live as a free man in a free country. The 
crown of ineptitude, however, was reached by an 
editor whb annotmced, in praising the recent all- 
inclusive peace treaties, that ''had their like been 
in existence between some of the European na- 
tions two weeks ago, the world might have been 
spared the great war." It is rather hard to deal 
seriously with such a supposition. At this very 
moment the utter worthlessness, under great pres- 
sure, of even the rational treaties drawn to protect 
Belgium and Luxembourg ha:s been shown. To 
suppose that under such conditions a bundle of 
bits of paper representing mere verbiage, with no 
guarantee, would count for an3^hing whatever in 
a serious crisis is to show ourselves unfit to control 
the destinies of a great, just, and self-respecting 


These writers wish iis to abandon all means of 
defending ourselves. Some of them advocate our 
abandoning the building of an efficient fleet. 
Yet at this moment Great Britain owes it that 
she is not in worse plight than Belgitmi solely to 
the fact that with far-sighted wisdom her states^ 
men have maintained her navy at the highest 
point of efficiency. At this moment the Japanese 
are at war with the Germans, and hostilities have 
been taking place in what but twenty years ago 
was Chinese territory, and what by treaty is 
unquestionably Chinese territory to-day. China 
has protested against the Japanese violation of 
Chinese neutrality in their operations against the 
Germans, but no heed has been paid to the pro- 
test, for China cannot back the protest by the use 
of armed force. Moreover, as China is reported 
to have pointed out to Germany, the latter power 
had violated Chinese neutrality just as Japan had 

Very possibly the writers above alluded to were 
sincere in their belief that they were advocating 
what was patriotic and wise when they urged that 
the United States make itself utterly defenseless 
so as to avoid giving an excuse for aggression. 
Yet these writers ought to have known that dining 
their own lifetime China has been utterly defense- 
less and yet has suffered fromg. aggression after 
aggression. Large portions of its territory are now 


in the possession of Russia, of Japan, of Germany, 
of France, of England.* The great war between 
Russia and Japan was fought on what was nomi- 
nally Chinese territory. At present, because a few 
months ago Servian assassins murdered the heir to 
the Austrian monarchy, Japan has fought Germany 
on Chinese territory. Luxembourg has been ab- 
solutely powerless and defenseless, has had no 
soldiers and no forts. It is off the map at this 
moment. Not only are none of the belligerents 
thinking about its rights, but no neutral is think- 
ing about its rights, and this simply because 
Luxembourg could not defend itself. It is our 
duty to be patient with every kind of folly, but 
it is hard for a good American, for a man to whom 
his cotmtry is dear and who reveres the memories 
of Washington and Lincoln, to be entirely patient 
with the kind of folly that advocates reducing 
this country to the position of China and Luxem- 

One of the main lessons to learn from this war 
is embodied in the homely proverb: "Speak 
softly and carry a big stick." Persistently only 
half of this proverb has been quoted in deriding 
the men who wish to safeguard our national in- 
terest and honor. Persistently the effort has been 
made to insist that those who advocate keeping 
our country able to defend its rights are merely 
adopting "the policy of the big stick." In reality. 



we lay equal emphasis on the fact that it is neoes- 
sary to speak softly; in other words, that it is 
necessary to be respectful toward all people and 
scrupulously to refrain from wronging them, while 
at the same time keeping ourselves in condition 
to prevent wrong being done to us. If a nation 
does not in this sense speak softly, then sooner 
or later the policy of the big stidc is certain to 
result in war. But what befell Luxembourg five 
months ago, what has befallen China again and 
again during the past quarter of a century, shows 
that no amount of speaking softly will save any 
people whidi does not carry a big stick. 

America should have a coherent policy of 
action toward foreign powers, and this should 
primarily be based on the determination never 
to give offense when it can be avoided, always 
to treat other nations justly and courteously, and, 
as long as present conditions exist, to be prepared 
to defend our own rights ourselves. No other 
nation wiU defend them for us. No paper guar- 
antee or treaty will be worth the paper on which 
it is written if it becomes to the interest of some 
other ix)wer to violate it, unless we have strength, 
and courage and ability to use that strength, 
back of the treaty. Every public man, every 
writer who speaks with wanton offensiveness of a 
foreign power or of a foreign people, whether he 
attadcs England or Prance or Germany, whether 


he assails the Russians or the Japanese, is doing 
an injury to the whole American body politic. 
We have plenty of shortcomings at home to cor- 
rect before we start out to criticise the shortcom- 
ings of others. Now and then it becomes impera- 
tively necessary in the interests of humanity, or 
in our own vital interest, to act in a manner 
which will cause offense to some other power. 
This is a lamentable necessity; but when the 
necessity arises we must meet it and act as we 
are honorably bound to act, no matter what of- 
fense is given. We mtist always weigh well our 
duties in such a case, and consider the rights of 
others as well as our own rights, in the interest 
of the world at large. If after such consideration 
it is evident that we are bound to act along a 
certain line of policy, then it is mere weakness to 
refrain from doing so because offense is thereby 
given. But we must never act wantonly or 
brutally, or without regard to the essentials of 
genuine morality — a morality considering our in- 
terests as well as the interests of others, and con- 
sidering the interests of future generations as 
well as of the present generation. We must so 
conduct ourselves that every big nation and every 
little nation that behaves itself ^all never have to 
think of us with fear, and shall have confidence 
not only in our justice but in our courtesy. Sub- 
mission to wrong-doing on otu* part would be 


mere weakness and would invite and insure dis- 
aster. We must not submit to wrong done to 
our honor or to our vital national interests. But 
we must be scrupulously careful always to speak 
with courtesy and self-restraint to others, always 
to act decently to others, and to give no nation 
any justification for believing that it has anything 
to fear from us as long as it behaves with decency 
and uprightness. 

Above all, let us avoid the policy of peace with 
insult, the policy of tmpreparedness to defend our 
rights, with inability to restrain our representa- 
tives from doing wrong to or publicly speaking ill 
of others. The worst policy for the United States 
is to combine the unbridled tongue with the un- 
ready hand. 

We in this country have of course come lamen- 
tably short of our ideals. Nevertheless, in some 
ways our ideals have been high, and at times we 
have measurably realized them. Prom the be- 
ginning we have recognized what is taught in 
the words of Wa^ngton, and again in the great 
crisis of our national life in the words of Lincoln, 
that in the past free peoples have generally 
split and sunk on that great rock of difficulty 
caused by the fact that a government which rec- 
ognizes the liberties of the people is not usually 
strong enough to preserve the liberties of the 
people against outside aggression. Washington 


and Lincoln believed that ours was a strong peo- 
ple and therefore fit for a strong government. 
They believed that it was only weak peoples that 
had to fear strong governments, and that to us 
it was given to combine freedom and efficiency. 
They belonged among that line of statesmen 
and public servants whose existence has been 
the negation of the theory that goodness is al- 
ways associated with weakness, and that strength 
always finds its expression in vident wrong-doing. 
Edward the Confessor represented exactly the 
type which treats weakness and virtue as inter- 
diangeable terms. His reign was the prime cause 
of the conquest of England. Godoy, the Spanish 
statesman, a century ago, by the treaties he 
entered into and carried out, actually earned the 
title of "Prince of Peace" instead of merely lec- 
turing about it ; and the result of his peacef ulness 
was the loss by Spain of the vast regions which 
she then held in our country west of the Missis- 
sippi, and finally the overthrow of the Spanish 
national government, the setting up in Madrid 
of a foreign king by a foreign conqueror, and a 
long-drawn and incredibly destructive war. To 
statesmen of this kind Washington and Lincoln 
stand in as sharp contrast as they statld on the 
other side to the great absolutist chiefs such as 
Caesar, Napoleon, Frederick the Great, and Crom- 
well. What was true of the personality of Wash- 


ington axul Linooln was true of the policy they 
sought to impress upon our nation. They were 
just as hostile to the theory that virtue was to 
be confounded with weakness as to the theory 
that strength justified wrong-doing. No abun- 
dance of the milder virtues will save a nation that 
has lost the virile qualities; and, on the other 
hand, no admiration of strength must make^ us 
deviate from the laws of righteousness. The 
kind of ''peace'' advocated by the ultrapadfidsts 
of 1776 would have meant that we never would 
have had a cotmtry; the kind of ''peace" ad- 
vocated by the ultrapadfidsts in the early '6o's 
would have meant the absolute destruction of 
the country. It would have been criminal weak- 
ness for Washington not to have fought for the 
independence of this country, and for Lincoln 
not to have fought for the preservation of the 
Union; just as in an infinitely smaller degree it 
would have been criminal weakness for us if we 
had permitted wrong-doing in Cuba to go on for- 
ever unchecked, or if we had failed to insist on 
the building of the Panama Canal in exactly the 
fashion that we did insist; and, above aU, if we 
had failed to build up otu* navy as during the last 
twenty years it has been btdlt up. No alliance, 
no treaty, and no easy good-will of other nations 
will save us if we are not true to ourselves; and, 
on the other hand, if we wantonly give offense to 



others, if we excite hatred and fear, then some 
day wt will pay a heavy penalty. 

The most important lesson, therefore, for us 
to learn from Belgium's fate is that, as things in 
the world now are, we must in any great crisis 
trust for our national safety to our ability and 
willingness to defend ourselves by our own 
trained strength and courage. We must not 
wrong others; and for our own safety we must 
trust, not to worthless bits of paper unbacked 
by power, and to treaties that are ftmdamen tally 
foolish, but to our own manliness and dear-sighted 
willingness to face facts. 

There is, however, another lesson which this 
huge conjSict may at least possibly teach. There 
is at least a chance that from this calamity a 
movement may come which will at once supple- 
ment and in the future perhaps altogether sup- 
plant the need of the kind of action so plainly in- 
dicated by the demands of the present. It is at 
least possible that the conflict will result in a 
growth of democracy in Europe, in at least a 
partial substitution of the rule of the people for 
the rule of those who esteem it their God-given 
right to govern the people. This, in its turn, 
would render it probably a little more unlikely 
that there would be a repetition of such disastrous 
warfare. I do not think that at present it would 
prevent the possibility of warfare. I think that 


in the great countries engaged, the peoples as a 
whole have been behind their sovereigns on both 
sides of this contest. Certainly the action of the 
Socialists in Germany, France, and Belgium, and, 
so far as we know, of the popular leaders in Russia, 
would tend to bear out the truth of this state- 
ment. But the growth of the power of the peo- 
ple, while it would not prevent war, would at 
least render it more possible than at present to 
make appeals which might result in some cases in 
coming to an accommodation based upon justice; 
for justice is what popular rule must be per- 
manently based upon and must permanently seek 
to obtain or it will not itself be permanent. 

Moreover, the horror that right-thinking citi- 
zens feel over the awful tragedies of this war can 
hardly fail to make sensible men take an interest 
in genuine peace movements and try to shape 
them so that they shall be more practical than at 
present. I most earnestly believe in every rational 
movement for peace. My objection is only to 
movements that do not in very fact tell in favor 
of peace or else that sacrifice righteousness to 
peace. Of course this includes objection to all 
treaties that make believe to do what, as a matter 
of fact, they fail to do. Under existing con- 
cQtions imiversal and all-inclusive arbitration 
treaties have been utterly worthless, because 
where there is no power to compel nations to 


arbitrate, and where it is perfectly certain that 
some nations will pay no respect to such agree- 
ments unless they can be forced to do so, it is 
mere folly for others to trust to promises impossible 
of performance; and it is an act of positive bad 
faith to make these promises when it is certain 
that the nation maJdng them would violate them. 
But this does not in the least mean that we must 
abandon hope of taking action which will lessen 
the chance of war and make it more possible to 
circumscribe the limits of war's devastation. 

For this result we must largely trust to sheer 
growth in morality and intelligence among the 
nations themselves. For a hundred years peace 
has obtained between us and Great Britain. No 
frontier in Europe is as long as the frontier be- 
tween Canada and ourselves, and yet there is 
not a fort, nor an armed force worthy of being 
called such, upon it. This does not result from 
any arbitration treaty or any other treaty. Such 
treaties as those now existing are as a rule ob- 
served only when they serve to make a record of 
conditions that already exist and which they do 
not create. The fact simply is that there has 
been such growth of good feeling and intelli- 
gence that war between us and the British Em- 
pire is literally an impossibility, and there is no 
more chance of military movements across the 
Canadian border than there is of such movement 


between New York and New Hampshire or Que- 
bec and Ontario. Slowly but surely, I believe, 
such feelings will grow, until war between the 
Englishman and the German, or the Russian, or 
the Frenchman, or between any of them and 
the American, will be as tmthinkable as now be- 
tween the Englishman or Canadian and the Amer- 

But something can be done to hasten this day 
by wise action. It may not be possible at once to 
have this action as drastic as would be ultimately 
necessary; ' but we should keep ota: purpose in 
view. The utter weakness of the Hague court, 
and the worthlessness when strain is put upon 
them of most treaties, spring from the fact that at 
present there is no means of enf ordng the carry- 
ing out of the treaty or enforcing the decision of 
the court. Under such circumstances recommen- 
dations for universal disarmament stand on an 
intellectual par with recommendations to establish 
"peace" in New York City by doing away with 
the police. Disarmament of the free and liberty- 
loving nations would merely mean insuring the 
triumph of some barbarism or despotism, and if 
logically applied would mean the extinction of 
liberty and of all that makes civilization worth 
having throughout the world. But in view of 
what has occurred in this war, surely the time 
ought to be ripe for the nations to consider a 


great world agreement among all the civilized 
military powers to back righteousness by force. 
Such an agreement would establish an e£Scient 
world league for the peace of righteousness. 





IN stud}dng certain lessons which should be 
taught the United States by this terrible worid 
war, it is not necessary for us to try exactly 
to assess or apportion the blame. There are plenty 
of previous instances of violation of treaties to be 
credited to almost all the nations engaged on one 
side or the other. We need not try to puzzle out 
why Italy and Japan seemingly construed similar 
treaties of alliance in diametrically opposite ways; 
nor need we decide which was justified or whether 
both were justified. It is quite immaterial to us, 
as regards certain of the lessons taught, whether 
the treaties alleged to be violated aflfect Luxem- 
bourg on the one hand or Bosnia on the other, 
whether it is the neutrality of China or the neu- 
trality of Belgium that is violated. 

Yet again, we need always to keep in mind that, 
although it is culpable to break a treaty, it may 
be even worse reddessly to make a treaty which 
cannot be kept. Recklessness in making prom- 
ises is the surest way in which to secure the dis- 



credit attaching to the breaking of promises. A 
treaty at present usually represents merely prom- 
ise, not performance; and it is wicked to promise 
what will not or caimot be performed. Genuine 
good can even now be accomplished by narrowly 
limited and defined arbitration treaties which are 
not all*inclusivei if they deal with subjects on 
which arbitration can be accepted. This nation 
has repeatedly acted in obedience to such treaties; 
and great good has come from arbitrations in such 
cases as, for example, the Dogger Bank incident, 
when the Russian fleet fired on British trawlers 
during the Russo-Japanese "war. But no good 
whatever has come from treaties that represented 
a sham; and under existing conditions it is hypo- 
critical for a nation to annotmce that it will arbi- 
trate questions of honor or vital interest, and folly 
to think that opponents will abide by such treaties. 
Bad although it is to negotiate such a treaty, it 
would be worse to abide by it. 

Under these conditions it is mischievous to a 
degree for a nation to trust to any treaty of the 
type now existing to protect it in great crises. 
Take the case of China as a living and present- 
day example. China has shown herself utterly 
impotent to defend her neutrality. Again and 
again she made this evident in the past. Order 
was not well kept at home and above all she was 
powerless to defend herself from outside attack. 


She has not prepared for war. She has kept 
utterly unprepared for war. Yet she has suffered 
more from war, in our own time, than any mil- 
itary power in the world during the same p^od. 
She has fulfilled exactly the conditions advocated 
by these well-meaning personis who for the last 
five months have been saying in speeches, edito- 
rials, articles for syndicates, and the like that the 
United States ought not to keep up battle-ships 
and ought not to trust to fortifications nor in 
any way to be ready or prepared to defend her- 
self against hostile attack, but should endeavor 
to secure peace by being so inoffensive and help- 
less as not to arouse fear in others. The well- 
meaning people who write these editorials and 
make these speeches ought to understand that 
though it is a bad thing for a naticm to arouse^f ear 
it is an infinitely worse thing to excite contempt; 
and every editor or writer or public man who 
tells us that we ought not to have battle-ships and 
that we ought to trust entirely to well-intentioned 
foolish all-inclusive arbitration treaties and aban- 
don fortifications and not keep prepared, is merely 
doing his best to bring contempt upon the United 
States and to insure <Usaster in the future. 

Nor is China the only case in point. Luxem- 
bourg is a case in point. Korea is a case in point. 
Korea was utterly inoffensive and helpless. It 
neither took nor was capable of taking the smallest 


aggressive action against any one. It had no 
forts, no war-ships, no army worthy of the name. 
It excited no fear and no anger. But it did excite 
measureless contempt, and therefore it invited 

The pomt I wish to make is, first, the extreme 
unwisdom and impropriety of making promises 
that cannot be kept, and, second, the utter futility 
of expecting that in any save exceptional cases 
a strong power will keep a promise which it finds 
to its disadvantage, unless there is some way of 
putting force back of the demand that the treaty 
be observed. 

America has no daim whatever to superior 
virtue in this matter. We have shown an appall- 
ing recklessness in making treaties, especially all- 
inclusive arbitration treaties and the like, which 
in time of stress would not and could not be ob- 
served. When such a treaty is not observed the 
blame really rests upon the imwise persons who 
made the treaty. Unfortunately, hpwever, this 
apportionment of blame cannot be made by out- 
siders. All they can say is that the country con- 
cerned — and I speak of the United States — does not 
keep faith. The responsibility for breaking an im- 
proper promise really rests with those who make 
it ; but the penalty is paid by the whole country. 

There are certain respects in which I think the 
United States can fairly claim to stand ahead of 


most nations in its regard for international mo- 
rality. For example, last spring when we took 
Vera Cruz, there were individuals within the city 
who fired at our troops in exactly the same fash- 
ion as that which is alleged to have taJken place 
in Louvain. But it never for one moment en- 
tered the heads of our people to destroy Vera 
Cruz. In the same way, when we promised free- 
dom to Cuba, we kept our promise, and after 
establishing an orderly government in Cuba with- 
drew our army and left her as an independent 
power; performing an act which, as far as I know, 
is entirely without parallel in the dealings of 
stronger with weaker nations. 

In the same way our action in San Domingo, 
when we took and administered her customs 
houses, represented a substantial and e£Scient 
achievement in the cause of international 'peace 
which stands high in the very honorable but 
scanty Ust of such actions by great nations in 
dealing with their less fortunate sisters. In the 
same way our handling of the Panama situation, 
both in the acquisition of the canal, in its construc- 
tion, and in the attitude we have taken toward 
the dwellers on the Isthmus and all the nations of 
mankind, has been such as to reflect signal honor 
on our people. In the same way we returned the 
Chinese indenmity, because we deenied it exces- 
sive, just as previously we had returned a money 


indemnity to Japan. Similarly the disinterested- 
ness with which we have administered the Philip- 
pines for the good of the Philippine people is 
something upon which we have a right to pride 
ourselves and shows the harm that would have 
been done had we not taken possession of the 

But, unfortunately, in dealing with schemes of 
universal peace and arbitration, we have often 
shown an imwiUingness to fulfil proper promises 
which we had already made by treaty, coupled 
with a reckless willingness to make new treaties 
with aU kinds of promises which were either im- 
proper and ought not to be kept or which, even 
if proper, could not and would not be kept. It 
has again and again proved exceedingly difSctdt 
to get Congress to appropriate money to pay 
some obligation which under treaty or arbitra- 
tion or the like has been declared to be owing by 
us to the citizens of some foreign nation. Often 
we have announced our intention to make sweep- 
ing arbitration treaties or agreements at the very 
time when by our conduct we were showing that 
in actual fact we had not the slightest intention 
of applying them with the sweeping universality 
we promised. In these cases we were usually, 
although not always, right in our refusal to apply 
the treaties, or rather the principles set forth in 
the treaties, to the concrete case at issue; but 


we were utterly wrong, we were, even although 
perhaps unintentionally, both insincere and hypo- 
critical, when at the same time we made believe 
we intended that these principles would be univer- 
sally applied. This was particularly true in con- 
nection with the universal arbitration treaties 
which our government unsuccessftdly endeavored 
to negotiate some three years ago. Our govern- 
ment announced at that time that we intended 
to enter into universal arbitration treaties tmder 
which we would arbitrate everything, even in- 
cluding questions of honor and of vital national 
interest. At the very time that this annoimcement 
was made and the negotiation of the treaties be- 
gun, the government in case after case where 
specific performance of its pledges was demanded 
responded with a flat refusal to do the very thing 
it had announced its intention of doing. 

Recently, there have been negotiated in Wash- 
ington thirty or forty little all-inclusive arbitra- 
tion or so-called "peace" treaties, which repre- 
sent as high a degree of fatuity as is often achieved 
in these matters. There is no likelihood that 
they will do us any great material harm because 
it is absolutely certain that we would not pay the 
smallest attention to them in the event of th^r 
being invoked in any matter where our interests 
were seriously involved ; but it would do us moral 
harm to break them, even although this were the 


least evil of two evil alternatives. It is a dis- 
creditable thing that at this very moment, with 
before our eyes such proof of the worthlessness of 
the neutrality treaties affecting Belgium and 
Luxembourg, our nation should be negotiating 
treaties which convince every sensible and well- 
informed observer abroad that we are either 
utterly heedless in making promises which caimot 
be kept or else willing to make promises which we 
have no intention of keeping. What has just 
happened shows that such treaties are worthless 
except to the degree that force can and will be 
used in backing them. 

There are some well-meaning people, misled by 
mere words, who doubtless think that treaties of 
this kind do accomplish something. These good 
and well-meaning people may feel that I am not 
zealous in the cause of peace. This is the direct 
reverse of the truth. I abhor war. In common 
with all other thinking men I am inexpressibly 
saddened by the dreadf td contest now waging in 
Europe. I put peace very high as an agent for 
bringing about righteousness. But if I must 
choose between righteousness and peace I choose 
righteousness. Therefore, I hold myself in honor 
bound to do anjrthing in my power to advance the 
cause of the peace of righteousness throughout 
the world. I believe we can make substantial 
advances by international agreement in the line 


of achieving this ptirpose and in this bcx>k I 
state in outline just what I think can be done 
toward this end. But I hold that we will do 
nothing and less than nothing tinless, pending 
the accomplishment of this purpose, we keep our 
own beloved country in such shape that war shall 
not strike her down ; and, furthermore, unless we 
also seriously consider what the defects have 
been in the existing peace, neutrality, and* arbi- 
tration treaties and in the attitude hitherto as- 
sumed by the professional pacificists, which have 
rendered these treaties such feeble aids to peace 
and the tiltrapadfidst attitude a positive obstacle 
to peace. 

The truth is that the advocates of world-wide 
peace, like all reformers, should bear in mind 
Josh Billings's astute remark that ''it is much 
easier to be a harmless dove than a wise serpent." 
The worthy pacificists have completely forgotten 
that the Biblical injtmction is two-sided and that 
we are bidden not only to be harmless as doves 
but also to be wise as serpents. The ultra- 
pacificists have undoubtedly been an exceedingly 
harmless body so far as obtaining peace is con- 
cerned. They have exerted practically no in- 
fluence in restraining wrong, although they have 
sometimes had a real and lamentable influence in 
crippKng the forces of right and preventing them 
from dealing with wrong. An appreciable amotmt 



of good work has been done for peace by genuine 
lovers of peace, but it has not been done by the 
feeble folk of the peace movement, loquacious but 
impotent, who are usually unfortunately prom- 
inent in the movement and who excite the utter 
derision of the great powers of evil. 

Sincere lovers of peace who are wise have been 
obliged to face the fact that it is often a very com- 
plicated thing to secure peace without the sac- 
rifice of righteousness. Furthermore, they have 
been obliged to face the fact that generally the 
only way to accomplish anything was by not 
trying to accomplish too much. 

The complicated nature of the problem is shown 
by the fact that whereas the real friends of right- 
eousness believe that our duty to peace ought to be 
fulfilled by protesting against — ^and doubtless if 
necessary doing more than merely protest against 
— ^the violation of the rights secured to Belgium by 
treaty, the professional pacificists nervously point 
out that such a course would expose us to accu- 
sations of abandoning our ' ' neutrality. ' ' In theory 
these pacificists admit it to be our duty to uphold 
the Hague treaties of which we were among the 
signatory powers; but they are against effective 
action to uphold them, for they are pathetic be- 
lievers in the all-sufificiency of signatiu^s, placed 
on bits of paper. They have pinned their faith 
to the foolish belief that everything put in these 


treaties was forthwith guaranteed to all mankind. 
In dealing with the rights of neutrals Article lo of 
Chapter i explicitly states that if the territory 
of a neutral nation is invaded the repelling of 
such invasion by force shall not be esteemed a 
''hostile" act on the part of the neutral nation. 
Unquestionably under this clause Belgium has 
committed no hostile act. Yet, this sound dec- 
laration of morality, in a treaty that the leading 
world-powers have signed, amounts to precisely 
and exactly nothing so far as the rights of poor Bel- 
gium are concerned, because there is no way pro- 
vided of enforcing the treaty and because the 
American government has decided that it can 
keep at peace and remain neutral only by declin- 
ing to do what, according to the intention of the 
Hague treaty, it would be expected to do in secur- 
ing peace for Belgium. In practice the Hague 
treaties have proved and will always prove use- 
less while there is no sanction of force behind 
them. Por the United States to proflEer "good 
oJBSces " to the various powers entering such a great 
conflict as the present one accomplishes not one 
particle of good ; to refer them, when they mutually 
complain of wrongs, to a Hague court which is 
merely a phantom does less than no good. The 
Hague treaties can accomplish nothing, and ought 
not to have been entered into, tmless in such a 
case as this of Belgitun there is willingness to take 


eflSdent action under them. There cotild be no 
bettef illustration of how extremely complicated 
and difficult a thing it is in practice itistead of in 
theory to make even a small advance in the cause 
of peace. 

I believe that international opinion can do 
something to arrest wrong; but only if it is 
aroused and finds some method of dear and force- 
ful expression. For example, I hope that it has 
been aroused to the point of preventing any reper 
tition at the expense of Brussds of the destruc* 
tion which has befallen Louvain. The peaceful 
people of Brussels now live in dread of what may 
happen to them if the Germans should evacuate 
the dty. In such an event it is possible that half 
a dozen fanati^, or half a dozen young roughs 
of the *' Apache" type, in spite of everything 
that good dtizens may do, will from some build- 
ing fire on the retiring soldiers. In such case the 
offenders ought to be and must be treated with 
instant and unsparing rigor, and those dearly 
guilty of aiding or shidding them should also be 
so treated. But if in sudi case Brussels is in whole 
or in part d^troyed as Louvain was destroyed, 
those destroying it will be guilty of a capital 
crime against dvilization; and it is heartily to 
be regretted that dvilized nations have not de- 
vised some method by which the collective power 
of dvilization can be used to prevent or punish 


such crimes. In every great dty there are plenty 
of reckless or fanatical or downright evil men 
eagerly ready to do some act which is abhorrent 
to the vast majority of their fellows; and it is 
wicked to pimish with cruel severity immense 
multitudes of innocent men, women, and children 
for the misdeeds of a few rascals or fanatics. Of 
course, it is eminently right to punish by death 
these rascals or fanatics tliemselves. 

Kindly people who know little of life and noth- 
ing whatever of the great forces of international 
rivalry have exposed the cause of peace to ridicule 
by believing that serious wars could be avoided 
through arbitration treaties, peace treaties, neu- 
trality treaties, and the action of the Hague court, 
without putting force behind such treaties and 
« such action. The simple fact is that none of these 
existing treaties and no function of the Hague 
court hitherto planned and exercised have ex- 
erted or could exert the very smallest influence in 
maintaining peace when great conflicting inter- 
national passions are aroused and great conflict- 
ing national interests are at stake. It happens 
that wars have been more numerous in the fifteen 
years since the first Hague conference than in the 
fifteen years prior to it. It was Russia that 
called the first and second Hague conferences, 
and in the interval she fought the war with Japan 
and is now fighting a far greater war. We bore 


a prominent part at the Hague conferences; but 
if the Hague court had been in existence in 1898 
it could not have had the smallest effect upon our 
war with Spain; and neither would any possible 
arbitration treaty or peace treaty have had any 
effect. At the present moment Great Britain owes 
its immunity from invasion purely to its navy 
and to the fact that that navy has been sedulously 
exercised in time of peace so as to prepare it for 
war. Great Britain has always been willing to 
enter into any reasonable — ^and into some unrea- 
sonable — peace and arbitration treaties; but her 
fate now would have been the fate of Belgium 
and would not have been hindered in the smallest 
degree by these treaties, if she had not possessed a 
first-class navy. The navy has done a thousand 
times more for her peace than all the arbitration 
treaties and peace treaties of the tjrpe now exist- 
ing that the wit of man could invent. I believe 
that national agreement in the future can do much 
toward minimizing the chance for war; but it 
must be by proceeding along different lines from 
those hitherto followed and in an entirely different 
spirit from the ultrapadfidst or professional peace- 
at-any-price spirit. 

The Hague court has served a very limited, 
but a useful, purpose. Some, although only a 
small number, of the existing peace and arbitra- 
tion treaties have served a useful purpose. But 


the purpose and the service have been strictly 
limited. Issues often arise between nations 
which are not of first-dass importance, which do 
not affect their vital honor and interest, but 
which, if left unsettled, may eventually cause irri- 
tation that will have the worst possible results. 
The Hague court and the different treaties in 
question provide instrumentalities for settling 
such disputes, where the nations involved really 
wish to settle them but might be unable to do so 
if means were not supplied. This is a real service 
and one well worth rendering. These treaties 
and the Hague court have rendered such service 
again and again in time past. It has been a mis- 
fortune that some worthy people have anticipated 
too much and claimed too much in reference to 
them, for the failure of the excessive claims has 
blinded men to what they really have accom- 
plished. To expect from them what they cannot 
give is merely short-sighted. To assert that they 
will give what they cannot give is mischievous. 
To promise that they will give what they cannot 
give is not only mischievous but hypocritical; 
and it is for this reason that such treaties as 
the thirty or forty all-inclusive arbitration or peace 
treaties recently negotiated at Washington, al- 
though unimportant, are slightly harmful. 

The Hague court has proved worthless in the 
present gigantic crisis. There is hardly a Hague 


treaty which in thb present crisis has not in some 
respect been violated. However, a step toward 
the peaceful settlement pf questions at issue be- 
tween nations which are not vital and which do 
not mark a serious crisis has been accomplished 
on certain occasions in the past by the action of 
the Hague court and by rational and limited 
peace or arbitration treaties* Our business is to 
try to make this cotuli of more effect and to en- 
laxge the class of cases where its actions will be 
valuable. In order to^ do this, we must endeavor 
to put an international police force behind this 
international judiciary. At the same time we 
must refuse to do or say anjrthing insincere. 
Above all, we must refuse to be misled into aban- 
doning the policy of efficient self-defense, by any 
unfounded trust that the Hague court, as now 
constituted, and peace or arbitration treaties of 
the existing type, can in the smallest degree ac- 
complish what they never have accomplished and 
never can accomplish. Neither the existing Hague 
court nor any peace treaties of the existing type 
will exert even the slightest influence in saving 
from disaster any nation that does not preserve 
the virile virtues and the long-sightedness that 
will enable it by its own might to guard its own 
honor^ interest, and national life. 



FROM what we have so far considered, two 
things are evident. Pirst, it is quite dear 
that in the world, as it is at this moment 
situated, it is literally criminal, literally a crime 
against the nation, not to be adequately and 
thoroughly prepared in advance, so as to guard 
ourselves and hold our own in war. We should 
have a much better army than at present, in- 
cluding especially a far larger reserve upon 
which to draw in time of war. We should have 
first-dass fortifications, espedally on the canal 
and in Hawaii. Most important of all, we shotdd 
not only have a good navy but should have it 
continually exerdsed in manoeuvring. Por nearly 
two years our navy has totally lacked the practice 
in manceuvring in fleet formation indispensable to 
its eflSdency. 

Of all the lessons hitherto taught by the war, 
the most essential for us to take to heart is that 
taught by the catastrophe that has befallen Bel- 
gium. One side of this catastrophe, one lesson 

taught by Bdgium's case, is the immense gain in 



the self-respect of a people that has dared to fig^jt^ 
heroically in the face of certain disaster^od^pos- 
sible defeat. Every Belgian ^jKfSgpont the 
world carries his head higheiMdow than he has 
ever carried it before, because of the proof of 
virile strength that his people have given. In 
the world at large there is not the slightest interest 
concerning Luxembourg's ultimate ^f ate; there is 
nothing more than amusement as to the discus- 
sion whether Japan or Germ^y is most to blame 
in coimection with the infringement of Chinese 
neutrality. This is because neither China nor 
Luxembourg has been able and willing effectively 
to stand for her own rights. At this moment 
Luxembourg is enjoying ** peace" — ^the peace of 
death. But Belgium has stood for her own rights. 
She has shown heroism, courage, and self-sacrifice, 
and, great though the penalty,] the ultimate re- 
ward will be greater still. 

If ever this cotmtry is attacked and drawn into 
war as Belgium, through no fault of her own, was 
drawn into war, I hope most earnestly that she 
will emulate Belgium's courage; and this she can- 
not do unless she is prepared in advance as Bel- 
gium was prepared. In one point, as I have 
already stated, I very earnestly hope that she will 
go beyond Belgium. If any great city, such as 
New York or San Francisco, Boston or Seattle, is 
held for ransom by a foreign foe, I earnestly hope 


that Americans, within the city and without, will 
insist that not one dollar of ransom shall be paid, 
and will gladly acquiesce in the absolute destruc- 
tion of the city, by fire or in any other manner, 
rather than see a dollar paid into the war chest 
of our foes for the further prosecution of the war 
against us. Napoleon the Great made many 
regions pay for their own conquest and the con- 
quest of the nations to which they belonged. 
But Spain and Russia would not pay, and the 
burning of Moscow and the defense of Saragossa 
marked the two great stages in the turn of the 
tide against him. The prime lesson of this war 
is that no nation can preserve its own self-respect, 
or the good-will of other nations, unless it keeps 
itself ready to exact justice from others, precisely 
as it should keep itself eager and willing to do 
justice to others. 

The second lesson is the utter inadequacy in 
times of great crises of existing peace and neu- 
trality treaties, and of all treaties conceived in 
the spirit of the all-inclusive arbitration treaties 
recently adopted at Washington; and, in fact, of 
all treaties which do not put potential force be- 
hind the treaty, which do not create some kind of 
international police power to stand behind inter- 
national sense of right as expressed in some com- 
petent tribunal. 

It remains to consider whether there is not— 


and I believe there is — some method which will 
bring nearer the day when international war of 
the kind hitherto waged and now waging between 
nations shall be relegated to that past which con- 
tains the kind of private war that was habitually 
waged between individuals up to the end of the 
Middle Ages. By degrees the work of a national 
police has been substituted for the exercise of the 
right of private war. The growth of sentiment 
in favor of peace within each nation accomplished 
little until an effective police force was put back 
of the sentiment. There are a few communities 
where such a police forc^ is almost non-existent, 
although always latent in the shape of a sheriff's 
posse or something of the kind. In all big com- 
munities, however, in all big cities, law is observed, 
tmiocent and law-abiding and peacetvl people are 
jjrotected and the disorderly and violent classes 
prevented from a riot of mischief and wrong-do- 
ing only by the presence of an eflficient police 
force. Some analogous international police force 
must be created if war between nations is to be 
minimized as war between individuals has been 

It is, of course, essential that, if this end is to 
be accomplished, we shall face facts with the 
understanding of what they really signify. Not 
the slightest good is done by hysterical outcries 
far a peace which would consecrate wrong or 


leave wrongs unredressed. Little or nothing 
would be gained by a peace which merely stopped 
this war for the moment and left untouched all 
the causes that have brought it about. '* A peace 
which left the wrongs of Belgium imredressed, 
which did not leave her independent and secured 
against further wrong-doing, and which did not 
provide measures hereafter to safeguard all peaces 
ftd nations against stiffering the fate that Belgium 
has suffered, wotdd be mischievous rather than 
beneficial in its tdtimate effects. If the United 
States had any part in bringing about such a 
peace it would be deeply to our discredit as a 
nation. Belgium has been terribly wronged, and 
the civilized world owes it to itself to see that this 
wrong is redressed and that steps are taken which 
will guarantee that hereafter conditions shall not 
be permitted to become such as either to require or 
to permit such action as that of Germany against 
Belgium. Surely all good and honest men who 
are lovers of peace and who do not use the great 
words *'love of peace" to cloak their own folly 
and timidity must agree that peace is to be made 
the handmaiden of righteousness or else that it is 

England's attitude in going to war in defense 
of Belgium's rights, according to its guarantee, 
was not only strictly proper but represents the 
only kind of action that ever will make a neu- 


trality treaty or peace treaty or arbitration treaty 
worth the paper on which it is written. The pub- 
lished despatches of the British government show 
that Sir Edward Grey clearly, emphatically, and 
scrupulously declined to commit his govenmient 
to war until it became imperative to do so if Great 
Britain was to fulfil, as her honor and interest 
alike demanded, her engagements on behalf of the 
neutrality of Belgitim. Of course, as far as Great 
Britain is concerned, she would not be honorably 
justified in making peace unless this object of her 
going to war was achieved. Our hearty sympathy 
should go out to her in this attitude. 

The case of Belgitmi in this war stands by it- 
self. As regards all the other powers, it is not 
only possible to make out a real case in favor of 
every nation oil each side, but it is also quite pos- 
sible to show that, under existing conditions, each 
nation was driven by its vital interests to do what 
it did. The real nature of the problem we have 
ahead of us can only be grasped if this attitude of 
the several powers is thoroughly tmderstood. To 
paint the Kaiser as a devil, merely bent on grat- 
ifying a wicked thirst for bloodshed, is an absurd- 
ity, and worse than an absurdity. I beUeve that 
history will declare that the Kaiser acted in con- 
formity with the feelings of the German people 
and as he sincerely beUeved the interests of his 
people demanded; and, as so often before in his 


personal and family life, he and his family have 
given honorable proof that they possess the qual- 
ities that are characteristic of the German people. 
Every one of his sons went to the war, not nom- 
inally, but to face every danger and hardship. 
Two of his sons hastily married the girls to whom 
they were betrothed and immediately afterward 
left for the front. 

This was a fresh illustration of one of the most 
striking features of the outbreak of the war in 
Germany. In tens of thousands of cases the 
ofScers and enlisted men, who were engaged, mar- 
ried immediately before starting for the front. 
In many of the churches there were long queues 
of brides waiting for the ceremony, so as to'enable 
their lovers to marry them just before they re- 
sponded to the order that meant that they might 
have to sacrifice everything, including life, for 
the nation. A nation that shows such a spirit is 
assuredly a great nation. The efficiency of the 
German organization, the results of the German 
preparation in advance, were strikingly shown in 
the powerful forward movement of the first six 
weeks of the war and in the steady endurance 
and resolute resourcefulness displayed in the fol- 
lowing months. 

Not only is the German organization, the Ger- 
man preparedness, highly creditable to Germany, 
but even more creditable is the spirit Ijring behind 


th6 organization. The men and women of Ger- 
manyj from the highest to the lowest, have shown 
a splendid patriotism and abnegation of self. In 
reading of their attitude, it is impossible not to 
feel a thrill of admiration for the stem courage 
and lofty disinterestedness which this great crisis 
laid bare in the souls of the people. I most ear- 
nestly hope that we Americans, if ever the need 
may arise, will show similar qualities. 

It is idle to say that this is not a people's war. 
The intensity of conviction in the righteousness 
of their several causes shown by the several peo- 
ples is a prime factor for consideration, if we are 
to take efficient means to try to prevent a repeti- 
tion of this incredible world tragedy. History 
may decide in any war that one or the other party 
was wrong, and yet also decide that the highest 
qualities and powers of the htunan sotd were 
shown by that party. We here in the TTrdted 
States have now grown practically to accept this 
view as regards our own Civil Wat, and we feel 
an equal pride in the high devotion to the right, 
as it was given each man to see the right, shown 
alike by the men who wore the blue and the men 
who wore the gray. 

The English feel that in this war they fight not 
only for themselves but for principle, for justice, 
for civilization, for a real and lasting world peade. 
Great Britain is backed by the great free democ^ 


rades that tinder her flag have grown up in Can- 
ada, in Australia, in South Africa, She feels that 
she stands for the Uberties and rights of weak 
nations ever3rwhere. One of the most striking 
features of the war is the way in which the varied 
peoples of India have sprung to arms to defend 
the British Empire. 

The Russians regard the welfare of their whole 
I)eople as at stake. The Russian Liberals believe 
that success for Russia means an end of militarism 
in Europe. They believe that the Pole, the Jew, 
the Finn, the man of the Caucasus will each and 
all be enfranchised, that the advance of justice 
and right in Russia will be immeasiu*ably furthered 
by the tritraiph of the Russian people in this con- 
test, and that the conflict was essential, not only 
to Russian national life but to the growth of free- 
dom and justice within her botmdaries. 

The oeople of Germany believe that they are 
engc»5ca primarily in a fight for life of the Teuton 
against the Slav, of civilization against what they 
regard as a vast, menacing flood of barbarism. 
They went to war because they believed the war 
was an absolute necessity, not merely to German 
well-being but to German national existence. 
They sincerely feel that the nations of western 
Europe are traitors to the cause of Occidental civ- 
ilization, and that they themselves are fighting, 
each man for his own hearthstone, for his own wife 


and children, and all for the future existence of 
the generations yet to come. 

The French feel with passionate conviction that 
this is the last stand of France, and that if she does 
not now succeed and is again trampled under foot, 
her people wiU lose for all time their place in the 
forefront of that great modem civilization of 
which the debt to France is Uterally incalculable. 
It wotdd be impossible too highly to admire the 
way in which the men and women of France 
have borne themselves in this nerve-shattering 
time of awful struggle and awful suspense. They 
have risen level to the hour's need, whereas in 
1870 they failed so to rise. The high valor of the 
French soldiers has been matched by the poise, 
the self-restraint, the dignity and the resolution 
with which the French people and the French 
government have behaved. 

CM Austria and Hungary, of Servia and Monte- 
negro, exactly the same is true, and the people of 
each of these countries have shown the sternest 
and most heroic courage and the loftiest and most 
patriotic willingness for self-sacrifice. 

To each of these peoples the war seems a cru- 
sade against threatening wrong, and each man 
fervently believes in the justice of his cause. 
Moreover, each combatant fights with that terri- 
ble determination to destroy the opponent which 
springs from fear. It is not the fear which any 


one of these powers has inspired that offers the 
diffictilt problem. It is the fear which each of 
them genuinely feels. . Russia believes that a 
quarter of the Slav people will be trodden under 
the heel of the Germans, unless she succeeds. 
France and England believe that their very exis- 
tence depends on the destruction of the German 
menace. Germany believes that unless she can so 
cripple, and, if possible, destroy her western foes, 
as tp make them harmless in the future, she will 
be tmable hereafter to protect herself against the 
mighty Slav people on her eastern boundary and 
will be reduced to a condition of international im-' 
potence. Some of her leaders are doubtless in^ 
fluenced by worse motives; but the motives above 
given are, I believe, those that influence the great 
mass of Germans, and these are in their essence 
merely the motives of patriotism, of devotion to 
one's people and one's native land. 

We nations who are outside ought to recognize 
both the reality of this fear felt by each nation for 
others, together with the real justification for its 
existence. Yet we cannot sympathize with that 
fear-bom anger which would vent itself in the 
annihilation of the conquered. The right attitude 
is to limit militarism, to destroy the menace ci 
militarism, but to preserve the national integrity 
of each nation. The contestants are the great 
civilized peoples of Europe and Asia. 


Japan's part in the war has been slight. She has 
borne herself with scrupulous regard not only to 
the rights but to the feelings of the people of the 
United States. Japan's progress should be wel^ 
corned by every enlightened friend of hunuuity 
because of the promise it contains for the regen- 
eration of Asia. All that is necessary in order to 
remove every particle of apprehension caused by 
this progress is to do what ought to be done in 
reference to her no less than in reference to Euro- 
pean and American powers, namely, to develop 
a world policy which shall guarantee each nation 
against any menace that might otherwise be held 
for it in the growth and progress of another nation. 

The destruction of Russia is not thinkable, but 
if it were> it would be a most frightful calamity. 
The Slavs are a young people, of limitless possi** 
bilities, who from various causes have not been 
able to develop as rapidly as the peoples of central 
and western Europe. They have grown in dvili* 
zation until their further advance has beccmie 
something greatly to be desired, because it will be 
a factor of immense importance in the welfare of 
the worid. All that is necessary is for Russia to 
throw aside the spirit of absolutism developed in 
her dtnwg the centtuies of Mongol dominion. 
She will then be found doing what no other race 
can do and what it is of peculiar advantage to the 
English-spealdng peoples that she should do. 


As for crushing Germany or crippling her and 
reducing her to political impotence, such an action 
would be a disaster to mankind. The Germans 
are not merely brothers; they are largely otu-- 
selves. The debt we owe to German blood is 
great; the debt we owe to German thought and to 
German example, not only in govenrniental ad- 
ministration but in all the practical work of life, 
is even greater. Every generous heart and every 
far-seeing mind throughout the world should re- 
joice in the existence of a stable, united, and pow- 
erful Germany, too strong to fear aggression and 
too just to be a source of fear to its neighbors. 

As for France, she has occupied, in the modem 
world, a position as tmique as Greece in the world 
of antiquity. To have her broken or cowed 
would mean a loss to-day as great as the loss that 
was suffered by the world when the creative 
genius of the Greek passed away with his loss 
of political power and material greatness. The 
world cannot spare France. 

Now, the danger to each of these great and splen- 
did civilizations arises far more from the fear that 
each feels than from the fear that each inspires. 
Belgium's case stands apart. She inspired no 
fear. No peace should be made until her wrongs 
have been redressed, and the likelihood of the 
repetition of such wrongs provided against. She 
has suffered incredibly because the fear among the 


plain German people, among the Socialists, for in- 
stance, of the combined strength of France and 
Russia made them acquiesce in and support the 
policy of the military party, which was to disre- 
gard the laws of international morality and the 
plain and simple rights of the Belgian people. 

It is idle merely to make speeches and write 
essays against this fear, because at present the 
fear has a real ba^s. At present each nation has 
cause for the fear it feels. Each nation has cause 
to believe that its national life is in peril unless 
it is able to take the national life of one or more 
of its foes or at least hopelessly to cripple that foe. 
The catises of the fear must be removed or, no 
matter what peace may be patched up to-day or 
what new treaties may be negotiated to-morrow, 
these causes will at some future day bring about 
the same results, bring about a repetition of this 
same awful tragedy. 



IN the preceding chapters I have endeavored 
to set forth, in a spirit of absolute fairness 
and cahnness, the lessons as I see them that 
this war teaches all the world and especially the 
United States. I beUeve I have shown that, 
while, at least as against Belgium, there has been 
actual wrong-doing, yet on the whole and looking 
back at the real and ultimate causes rather than 
at the temporary occasions of the war, what has 
occurred is due primarily to the intense fear felt 
by each nation for other nations and to the anger 
bom of that fear. Doubtless in certain elements, 
notably certain militaristic elements, of the popu- 
lation other motives have been at work; but I 
believe that the people of each cotmtry, in backing 
the government of that cotmtry, in the present war 
have been influenced mainly by a genuine patri- 
otism and a genuine fear of what might happen 
to their beloved land in the event of aggression 
by other nations. 

Under such conditions, as I have shown, our 
duty is twofold. In the first place, events have 



clearly demonstrated that in any serious crisis 
treaties unbacked by force are not worth the 
paper upon which they are written. Events have 
clearly shown that it is the idlest of folly to assert 
and little short of treason against the nation for 
statesmen who should know better to pretend, 
that the salvation of any nation under existing 
world conditions can be trusted to treaties, to 
little bits of paper with names signed oa them but 
without any efficient force behind them- The 
United States will be guilty of criminal miscon- 
duct, we of this generation will show ourselves 
traitors to our children and our children's chU- 
den if, as conditions are now, we do not keep oiu*- 
selves reo^dy to defend our hearths, trusting in 
great crises not to treaties, not to the ineffective 
good-will of outsiders, but to our own stout hearts 
and strong hands. 

So much for the first and most vital lesscm. 
But we are not to be excused if we stop here. We 
must endeavor earnestly but with sanity to try 
to bring around better world conditions. We must 
try to shape our policy in conjunction with other 
nations so as to bring nearer the day when the 
peaoe of righteousness, the peace of justice and 
fair dealing, will be established among the nations 
of the earth. With this object in view, it is our 
duty carefully to weigh the influences which are 
at work or may be put to work in order to bring 


about this result and in every effective way to do 
our best to ftirther the growtii of these influences. 
When this has been done no American adminis- 
tration will be able to assert that it is reduced 
to humiliating impotence even to protest against 
such wrong as that committed on Belgium, be- 
cause, forsooth, our "neutrality" can only be pre- 
served by failure to help right what is wrong — 
and we shall then: as a people have too much self- 
respect to enter into absurd, all-inclusive arbitra- 
tion treaties, unbacked by force, at the very mo- 
ment when we fail to do what is clearly demanded 
by oiu: duty under the Hague treaties. 

Doubtless in the long run most is to be hoped 
from the slow growth of a better feeling, a more 
real feeling of brotherhood among the nations, 
among the peoples. The experience of the United 
States shows that there is no real foundation in 
race for the bitter antagonism felt among Slavs 
and Germans, French and English. There are in 
this country hundreds of thousands, millions, of 
men who by birth and parentage are of German 
descent, of French descent or Slavonic descent, 
or descended from each of the peoples within the 
British Islands. These different races not only 
get along well together here, but become knit 
into one people, and after a few generations their 
blood is mingled. In my own veins nms not only 
the blood of ancestors from the variotis peoples 


of the British Islands, EngUsh, Scotch, Welsh, 
and Irish, but also the blood of Frenchman and 
of German — not to speak of my forefathers from 
Holland. It is idle to tell ns that the French- 
man and the German, the Slav and the English- 
man are irreconcilably hostile one to the other 
because of difference of race. From our own 
daily experiences we know the contrary. We 
know that good men and bad men are to be found 
in each race. We know that the differences be- 
tween the races above named and many others 
are infinitesimal compared with the vital points 
of likeness. 

But this growth is too slow by itself adequately 
to meet present needs. At present we are con- 
fronted with the fact that each nation must keep 
armed and must be rea4y to go to war because 
there is a real and desperate need to do so and 
because the penalty for failure may be to suffer 
a fate like that of China. At present in every 
great crisis treaties have shown themselves not 
worth the paper they are written on, and the 
multitude of peace congresses that have been held 
have failed to secure even the slightest tangible 
result, as regards any contest in which the pas- 
sions of great nations were fully aroused and their 
vital interests really concerned. In other words, 
each nation at present in any crisis of fundamental 
knix>rtance has to rely purely on its own power, 


its own strength, its own individual force. The 
futility of international agreements in great cri- 
ses has come from the fact that iotce was not 
back of them. 
"^ What is needed in international matters is to 
create a judge and then to put police power back 
of the judge. 

So far the time has not been ripe to attempt 
this. Stirely now, in view of the awful cataclysm 
of the present war, such a plan could at least be 
considered; and it may be that the combatants 
at the end will be willing to try it in order to se- 
cure at least a chance for the only kind of peace 
that is worth having, the peace that is compat- 
ible with self-respect. Merely to bring about a 
peace at the present moment, without providing 
for the elimination of the causes of war, would 
accomplish nothing of any permanent value, and 
the attempt to make it would probably represent 
nothing else than the adroit use of some more or 
less foolish or more or less self-interested out- 
sider by some astute power which wished to see 
if it could not put its opponents in the wrong. 

If the powers were justified in going into this 
war by their vital interests, then they are re- 
quired to continue the war until these vital in- 
terests are no longer in jeopardy. A peace which 
left without redress wrongs like those which Bel- 
gium has suffered or which in effect consecrated 


the partial or entire destruction of one or more 
nations and the survival in aggravated form of 
militarism and autocracy, and of international 
hatred in its most intense and virulent form, 
would really be only a worthless truce and would 
not represent the slightest advance in the cause 
of righteousness and of international morality. 

The essential thing to do is to free each nation 
from the besetting fear of its neighbor. This 
can only be done by removing the causes of such 
fear. The neighbor must no longer be a danger. 

Mere disarmament will not accomplish this 
result, and the disarmament of the free and en- 
lightened peoples, so long as a single despotism 
or barbiarism were left armed, would be a hideous 
calamity. If armaments were reduced while 
causes of trouble were in no way removed, wars 
would probably become somewhat more frequent 
just because they would be less expensive and less 
decisive. It is greatly to be desired that the 
growth of armaments should be arrested, but they 
cannot be arrested while present conditions con- 
tinue. Mere treaties, mere bits of papers, with 
names dgned to them and with no force back of 
them, have proved utterly worthless for the pro- 
tection of nations, and where they are the only 
alternatives it is not only right but necessary 
that each nation should arm itself so as to be 
able to cope with any possible foe. 


The one pennaQent move for obtaining peace» 
which has yet been suggested, with any reason- 
able chance of attaining its object, is by an agree- 
ment among the great ix>wers, in which each 
should pledge itself not only to abide by the de- 
cisions of a commoQ tribunal but to back with 
force the decisions of that common tribunal. 
The great civilized nations of the world which do 
possess force, actual or immediately potential, 
should combine by solemn agreement in a great 
World League for the Peace of Righteousness. 
In a later chapter I shall briefly outline what 
such an agreement should attempt to perform. 
At present it is enough to say that such a woild- 
agreement offers the only alternative to each na- 
tion's relying purely on its own armed strength; 
for a treaty unbacked by force is in no proper 
sense of the word an alternative. 

Of course, if there were not reasonable good 
faith among the nations making such an agree- 
ment, it would fail. But it would not fail merely 
becat^e one nation did not observe good faith. 
It would be impossible to say that such an agree- 
ment would at once and permanently bring uni- 
versal peace. But it would certainly mark an 
immense advance. It would certainly mean that 
the chances of war were minimized and the pros- 
pects of limiting and confining and regulating war 
immensely increased. At present force, as repre- 


sented by the armed strength of the nations, is 
wholly divorced from such instrumentalities for 
securing peace as international agreements and 
treaties. In consequence, the latter are practi- 
cally impotent in great crises. There is no con- 
nection between force, on the one hand, and any 
scheme for securing international peace or justice 
on the other. Under these conditions every wise 
and upright nation must continue to rely for its 
own peace and well-being on its own force, its 
own strength. As all students of the law know, a 
right without a remedy is in no real sense of the 
word a right at all. In international matters the 
declaration of a right, or the announcement of a 
wortliy purpose, is not only aimless, but is a just 
cause for derision and may even be mischievous, 
if force is not put behind the right or the purpose. 
Our business is to make force the agent of justice, 
the instrument of right in international matters 
as it has been made in municipal matters, in 
matters within each nation. 

One good purpose which would be served by the 
kind of international action I advocate is that of 
authoritatively deciding when treaties terminate 
or lapse. At present every treaty ought to con- 
tain provision for its abrogation; and at present 
the wrong done in disregarding a treaty may be 
one primarily of time and manner. Unquestion- 
ably it may become an imperative duty to abro- 


gate a treaty. The Supreme Court of the United 
States set forth this right and duty in convincing 
manner when discussing our treaty with France 
dtuing the administration of John Adams, and 
again a century later when discussing the Chinese 
treaty. The difficulty at present is that each 
case must be treated on its own merits; for in 
some cases it may be right gnd necessary for a 
nation to abrogate or denounce (not to violate) 
a treaty; and yet in other cases such abrogation 
may represent wrong-doing which should be sup- 
pressed by the armed strength of civilization. 
At present in cases where only two nations are 
concerned there is no substitute for such abroga- 
tion or violation of the treaty by one of them; 
for each of the two has to be judge in its own case. 
But the tribunal of a world league would offer 
the proper place to which to apply for the abroga- 
tion of treaties; and, with international force 
back of such a tribunal, the infraction of a treaty 
could be ptmished in whatever way the necessi- 
ties of the case demanded. 

Such a scheme as the one hereinafter briefly out- 
lined will not bring perfect justice any more than 
under municipal law we obtain perfect justice ; but 
it will mark an immeasurable advance on anything 
now existing; for it will mean that at last a long 
stride has been taken in the effort to put the col- 
lective strength of civilized mankind behind the 


collective purpose of mankind to secure the peace 
of righteousness, the peace of justice among the 
nations of the earth. 

It may be, though I sincerely hope to the con- 
trary, that such a scheme is for the immediate 
future Utopian — ^it certainly will not be Utopian 
for the remote future. If it is impossible in the 
immediate future to devise some working scheme 
by which force shall be put behind righteousness 
in disinterested and eflEective fashion, where inter- 
national wrongs are concerned, then the only 
alternative will be for each free people to keep it- 
self in shape with its own strength to defend its 
own rights and interests, and meanwhile to do all 
that can be done to help forward the slow growth 
of sentiment which is assuredly, although very 
gradually, telling against international wrong- 
doing and violence. 

Man, in recognizedly htiman shape, has been 
for ages on this planet, and the extraordinary dis- 
coveries in Egypt and Mesopotamia now enable 
us to see in dim fashion the beginning of historic 
times six or seven thousand years ago. In the 
earlier ages of which history speaks there was prac- 
tically no such thing as an international con- 
science. The armies of Babylon and Assyria, 
Egypt and Persia felt no sense of obligation to 
outsiders and conquered merely because they 
wished to fconquer. In Greece a very imperfect 


recognition of international right grew up so far 
as Greek communities were concerned, but it 
never extended to barbarians. In the Roman 
Empire this feeling grew slightly, if only for the 
reason that so many nations were included within 
its bounds and were forced to live peaceably to- 
gether. In the Middle Ages the common Chris- 
tianity of Europe created a real bond. There 
was at least a great deal of talk about the duties 
of Christian nations to one another; and although 
the action along the lines of the talk was lamen- 
tably insufficient, still the talk itself represented 
the dawning recognition of the fact that each na- 
tion might owe something to other nations and 
that it was not right to base action purely on self- 

There has undoubtedly been a wide expansion 
of this feeling during the last few centuries, and 
particularly during the last century. It now ex- 
t^ds so as to include not only Christian nations 
but also those non-Christian nations which them- 
selves treat with justice and fairness the men of 
different creed. We are still a lamentably long 
distance away from the goal toward which we are 
striving; but we have taken a few steps toward 
that goal. A hundred years ago the English- 
speaking peoples of Britain and America regarded 
one another as inveterate and predestined enemies, 
just as three centuries previously had been the 


case in Great Britain itself between those who 
dwelt in the northern half and those who dwelt 
in the southern half of the island. Now war is 
unthinkable between us. Moreover, there is a 
real advance in good-will, respect, and under- 
standing between the United States and all the 
other nations of the earth. The advance is not 
steady aad it is interrupted at times by acts of 
unwisdom, which are quite as apt to be committed 
by ourselves as by other peoples; but the advance 
has gone on. There is far greater sentiment than 
ever before against unwarranted aggressions by 
stronger powers against weak powers; there is 
""far greater feeling against misconduct, whether in 
small or big powers; and far greater feeling against 
brutality in war. 

This does not mean that the wrong-doing as 
legarxls any one of these matters has as yet been 
even approximately stopped or that the indigna- 
tion against such wrong-doing is as yet anything 
like as elSective as it should be. But we must 
not let our horror at the wrong that is still done 
blind us to the fact that there has been improve- 
ment. As late as the eighteenth century there 
were continual instances where small nations or 
provinces were overrun, just as Belgium has been 
overrun, without any feeling worth taking into 
account being thereby excited in the rest of man- 
kind. In the seventeenth century affairs were 


worse. What has been done in Belgian cities 
has been very dreadful and the Belgian country- 
side has suffered in a way to wring our hearts; 
but our sympathy and indignation must not blind 
us to the fact that even in this case there has 
been a real advance during the last three htmdred 
years and that such things as were done to Mag- 
deburg and Wexford and Drogheda and the en- 
tire Palatinate in the seventeenth century are no 
longer possible. 

There is every reason to feel dissatisfied with 
the slow progress that has been made in putting 
a stop to wrong-doing; it is otu: bounden duty 
now to act so as to secure redress for wrong- 
doing; but nevertheless we mtist also recognize 
the fact that some progress has been made, and 
that there is now a good deal of real sentiment, 
and some efficient sentiment, against international 
wrong-doing. There has been a real growth toward 
international peace, justice, and fair dealing/ We 
have still a long way to go before reaching the 
goal, but at least we have gone forward a little 
way toward the goal. This growth will continue. 
We must do everything that we can to make it 
continue. But we must not blind ourselves to 
the fact that as yet this growth is not such as in 
any shape or way to warrant us in relying for 
our ultimate safety in great national crises upon 
anything except the strong fibre of our national 


character, and upon such preparation in advance 
as will give that character adequate instruments 
wherewith to make proof of its strength. 


^'Come, Peace 1 not like a motinier bowed 

For honor lost and dear ones wasted. 
But proud, to meet a people proud, 

With eyes that tell o' triumph tasted I 
Come, with han' gripping on the hilt. 

An' step that proves ye Victory's daughter I 
Longin' for you, our sperits wilt 

Like shipwrecked men's on raf 's for wuter* 

''Come, while our country feels the lift 

Of a great instinct shouting 'Forwards 1' 
An' knows that freedom ain't a gift 

Thet tarries long in han's of cowards t 
Come, sech ez mothers prayed for, when 

They kissed their cross ?rith lips that quivecedi 
An' bring fair wages for brave men, 

A nation saved, a race delivered I" 

THESE are the noble lines of a noble poet, 
written in the sternest days of the great 
Civil War, when the writer, Lowell, was 
one among the millions of men who mourned the 
death in battle of kinsfolk dear to him. No man 
ever Uved who hated an unjust war more than 
Lowell or who loved with more passionate fervor 
the peace of righteousness. Yet, like the other 
great poets of his day and country, like Holmes, 



who sent his own son to the war, like gentle Long- 
fellow and the Quaker Whittier, he abhorred un- 
righteousness and ignoble peace more than war. 
These men had lofty souls. They possessed the 
fighting edge, without which no man is really 
great; for in the really great man there must be 
both the heart of gold and the temper of steel. 

In 1864 there were in the North some htmdreds 
of thousands of men who praised peace as the 
supreme end, as a good more important than all 
other goods, and who denounced war as the worst 
of all evils. These men one and all assailed and 
denounced Abraham Lincoln, and all voted 
against him for President. Moreover, at that 
time there were many individuals in England and 
Prance who said it was the duty of those two na- 
tions to mediate between the North and the South, 
so as to stop the terrible loss of life and destruc- 
tion of property which attended our Civil War; 
and they asserted that any Americans who in 
such event refused to accept their mediation and 
to stop the war would thereby show themselves 
the enemies of peace. Nevertheless, Abraham 
Lincoln and the men back of him by their attitude 
prevented all such ejffort at mediation, declaring 
that they would regard it as an unfriendly act 
to the United States. Looking back from a dis- 
tance of fifty years, we can now see clearly that 
Abraham Lincoln and his supporters were right. 


Such mediation wotdd have been a hostile act, not 
only to the United States but to humanity. The 
men who clamored for unrighteous peace fifty 
years ago this fall were the enemies of mankind. 

These facts should be pondered by the well- 
meaning men who always clamor for peace with- 
out regard to whether peace brings justice or in- 
justice. Very many of the men and women who 
are at times misled into demanding peace, as if it 
were itself an end instead of being a means of 
righteousness, are men of good intelligence and 
sound heart who only need seriously to consider 
the facts, and who can then be trusted to think 
aright and act aright. There is, however, an ele- 
ment of a certain numerical importance among 
our people, including the members of the ultra- 
pacificist group, who by their teachings do some 
real, although limited, mischief. They are a 
feeble folk, these ultrapadfidsts, morally and 
physically; but in a country where voice and 
vote are alike free, they may, if their teachings 
are not disregarded, create a condition of things 
where the crop they have sowed in folly and weak- 
ness will be reaped with blood and bitter tears by 
the brave men and high-hearted women of the 

The folly preached by some of these individuals 
is somewhat startling, and if it were translated 
from words into deeds it would constitute a crime 


against the nation. One professed teacher of 
morality made the plea in so many words that 
we ought to follow the example of China and de- 
prive ourselves of all power to repel foreign attack. 
Surely this writer must have possessed the ex- 
ceedingly small amount of information necessary 
In order to know that nearly half of China was 
tmder foreign dominion and that while he was 
writing the Germans and Japanese were battling 
on Chinese territory and domineering as con- 
querors over the Chinese in that territory. Think 
of the abject soul of a man capable of holding up 
to the admiration of free-bom American citizens 
such a condition of serfage under alien rule ! 

Nor is the folly confined only to the male sex. 
A number of women teachers in Chicago are 
credited with having proposed, in view of the war, 
hereafter to prohibit in.the teaching of history any 
reference to war and battles. Intellectually, of 
course, such persons show themselves unfit to 
be retained as teachers a single day, and indeed 
unfit to be pupils in any school more advanced 
than a kindergarten. But it is not their intellec- 
tual, it is also their moral shortcomings which are 
striking. The suppression of the truth is, of 
course, as grave an offense against morals as is 
the suggestion of the false or even the lie direct; 
and these teachers actually propose to teach un- 
truths to their pupils. 


True teachers of history must tell the facts of 
history; and if they do not tell the facts both 
about the wars that were righteous and the wars 
that were unrighteous, and about the causes that 
led to these wars and to success or defeat in them, 
they show themselves morally unfit to train the 
minds of boys and girls. If in addition to telling 
the facts they draw the lessons that should be 
drawn from the facts, they will give their pupils 
a horror of all wars that are entered into wantonly 
' or with levity or in a spirit of mere brutal aggres- 
sion or save under dire necessity. But they will 
also teach that among the noblest deeds of man- 
kind are those that have been done in great wars 
for liberty, in wars of self-defense, in wars for the . 
relief of oppressed peoples, in wars for putting an 
end to wrong-doing in the dark places of the globe. 

Any teachers, in school or college, who occupied 
the position that these foolish, foolish teachers 
have sought to take, would be forever estopped 
from so much as mentioning Washington and 
Lincoln; because their lives are forever asso- 
ciated with great wars for righteousness. These 
teachers wotdd be forever estopped from so much 
as mentioning the shining names of Marathon and 
Salamis. They would seek to blind their pupils' 
eyes to the glory held in the deeds and deaths 
of Joan of Arc, of Andreas Hofer, of Alfred the 
Great, of Arnold von Winkdried, of Kosciusko 


and Rakoczy. They would be obliged to warn 
their pupils against ever reading Schiller's *' Wil- 
liam Tell" or the poetry of Koerner. Such men 
are deaf to the lament running: 

"Oh, why, Patrick Sarsfield, did we let your ships sail, 
Across the dark waters from green Innisfail?" 

To them Holmes's ballad of Bunker Hill and 
Whittier's "Laus Deo," MacMaster's Ode to the 
Old Continentals" and O'Hara's "Bivouac of 
the Dead" are meaningless. Their cold and 
timid hearts are not stirred by the surge of the 
tremendous ''Battle Hjmm of the Republic." On 
them lessons of careers like those of Timoleon and 
John Hampden are lost; in their eyes the lofty 
self-abnegation of Robert Lee and Stonewall Jack- 
son was folly; their dull senses do not thrill to the 
deathless deaths of the men who died at Ther- 
mopylae and at the Alamo — ^the fight of those 
grim Texans of which it was truthfully said that 
Thermopylae had its messengers c^ death but the 
Alamo had none. 

It has actually been proposed by some of these 
shivering apostles of the gospel of national abject- 
ness that, in view of the destruction that has fallen 
on certain peaceftd powers of Europe, we should 
abandon all efforts at self-defense, should stop 
building battle-ships, and cease to take any mea^ 
sures to defend ourselves if attacked. It is diffi- 


cult seriously to consider such a proposition. ' It 
is precisely and exactly as if the inhabitants of a 
vi^ige in whose neighborhood highway robberies 
had occurred should propose to meet the crisis by 
depriving the local policeman of his revolver and 

There are, however, many high-minded people 
who do not agree with these extremists, but who 
nevertheless need to be enlightened as to the 
actual facts. These good people, who are busy 
people and not able to devote much time to 
thoughts about international affairs, are often con- 
fused by men whose business it is to know bet- 
ter. For example, a few weeks ago these good 
people were stirred to a moment's belief that 
something had been accomplished by the enact- 
ment at Washington of a score or two of all-in- 
clusive arbitration treaties; being not unnaturally 
misled by the fact that those responsible for the 
passage of the treaties indulged in some not wholly 
harmless bleating as to the good effects they would 
produce. As a matter of fact, they probably will 
not produce the smallest effect of any kind or sort. 
Yet it is possible they may have a mischievous 
effect, inasmuch as under certain circtimstances to 
fulfil them would cause frightful disaster to the 
United States, while to break them, even although 
under compulsion and because it was absolutely 
necessary, would be fruitftd of keen humiliation 


to every right-thinking man who is jealous of our 
international good xxame. 

If for example, whatever the outcome of the 
present war, a great triumphant military despot- 
ism declared that it would not recognize the Mon- 
roe Doctrine or seized Magdalena Bay, or one of 
the Dutch West Indies, or the Island of St. 
Thomas, and fortified it; or if — ^as would be quite 
possible — ^it announced that we had no right to 
fortify the Isthmus of Panama, and itself landed 
on adjacent territory to erect similar fortifica- 
tions; then, under these absurd treaties, we 
would be obliged, if we happened to have made 
one of them with one of the countries involved, 
to go into an interminable discussion of the sub- 
ject before a joint commission, while the hostile 
nation proceeded to make its position impreg- 
nable. It seems incredible that the United States 
government could have made such treaties; but 
it has just done so, with the warm approval of 
the professional pacificists. 

These treaties were entered into when the 
administration had before its eyes at that very 
moment the examples of Belgium and Luxem- 
bourg, which showed beyond possibility of doubt, 
especially when taken in connection with other 
similar incidents that have occurred during the 
last couple of decades, that there are various great 
military empires in the Old World who will pay 


not one mcnnent's heed to the most solemn and 
binding treaty, if it is to their interest to break 
it. If any one of these empires, as the result of 
the present contest, obtains something approach- 
ing to a position of complete predominance in the 
Old World, it is absolutely certain that it would 
pay no heed whatever to these treaties, if it de- 
sired to better its position in the New World by 
taking possession of the Dutch or Danish West In- 
dies or of the territory of some weak American 
state on the mainland of the continent. In such 
event we would be obliged either instantly our- 
selves to repudiate the scandalous treaties by 
which the government at Washington has just 
sought to tie our hands — ^and thereby expose our- 
selves in our turn to the charge of bad faith — or 
else we should have to abdicate our position as 
a great power and submit to abject hiuniliation. 

Since these articles of mine were written and 
published, I am glad to see that James Bryce, a 
lifelong advocate of peace and the stanchest pos- 
sible friend of the United States, has taken pre- 
cisely the position herein taken. He dwells, as 
I have dwelt, upon the absolute need of pro- 
tecting small states that behave themselves from 
absorption in great military empires. He insists, 
as I have insisted, upon the need of the reduction 
of armaments, the quenching of the baleful spirit 
of militarism, and the admission of the peoples 


everjrwhere to a fuller share in the control of for- 
eign policy — ^all to be accomplished by some kind 
of international league of peace. He adds, how- 
ever, as the culminating and most important por- 
tion of his article : 

"But no scheme for preventing future wars will 
have any chance of success unless it rests upon the 
assurance that the states which enter it will loyally 
and steadfastly abide by it and that each and all 
of them '^dll join in coercing by their overwhelming 
united strength any state which may disregard 
the obligations it has undertaken." 

This is almost exactly what I have said. In- 
deed, it is almost word for word what I have said 
— ^an agreement which is all the more striking 
because when he wrote it Lord Bryce could not 
have known what I had written. We must insist 
on righteousness first and foremost. We must 
strive for peace always ; but we must never hesi- 
tate to put righteousness above' peace. In order 
to do this, we must put force back of righteousness, 
for, as the world now is, national righteousness 
without force back of it speedily becomes a matter 
of derision. To the doctrine that might makes 
right, it is utterly useless to oppose the doctrine 
of right unbacked by might. 

It is not even true that what the pacificists de- 
sire is right. The leaders of the padficists of this 
coimtry who for five months now have been cry- 


ing, *'Peace, peace," have been too timid even to 
say that they want the peace to be a righteous one. 
We needlessly dignify such outcries when we 
speak of them as well-meaning. The weaklings 
who raise their shrill piping for a peace that shall 
consecrate successful wrong occupy a position 
quite as immoral as and infinitely more contempt- 
ible than the position of the wrong-doers them- 
selves. The ruthless strength of the great abso- 
lutist leaders — ^Elizabeth of England, Catherine 
of Russia, Peter the Great, Frederick the Great, 
Napoleon, Bismarck— is certainly infinitely better 
for their own nations and is probably better for 
mankind at large than the loquacious impotence, 
ultimately trouble-breeding, which has recently 
-^v marked our own international poKcy . A policy of 
) blood and iron is sometimes very wicked; but it 
/ rarely does as much harm, and never excites as 
A much derision, as a policy of milk and water — 
I and it comes dangerously near flatted to call the 
1 foreign policy of the, United States under Presi- 
\ dent Wilson and Mr. Bryan merely one of milk 
and water. Strength at least commands respect; 
whereas the prattling feebleness that dares not 
rebuke any concrete wrong, and whose proposals 
for right are marked by sheer fatuity, is fit only 
to excite weeping among angels and among men 
the bitter laughter of scorn. 
At this moment any peace which leaves unre- 


dressed the wrongs of Belgitun, and which does 
not effectively guarantee Belgium and all other 
small nations that behave themselves, against the 
repetition of such wrongs would be a well-nigh 
unmixed evil. As far as we personally are con- 
cerned, such a peace would inevitably mean that 
we should at once and in haste have to begin to 
arm ourselves or be exposed in our turn to the 
most frightful risk of disaster. Let our people 
take thought for the future. What Germany did 
to Belgium because her need was great and be- 
cause ^e possessed the ruthless force with which 
to meet her need she would, of course, do to us if 
her need demanded it; and in such event what 
her representatives now say as to her intentions 
toward America would trouble her as Uttle as her 
signature to the neutrality treaties troubled her 
when she subjugated Belgium. Nor does she 
stand alone in her views of international mo* 
rality. More than one of the great powers en^ 
gaged in this war has shown by her conduct in 
the past that if it profited her she would with- 
out the smallest scruple treat any land in the two 
Americas as Belgium has been treated. What 
has recently happened in the Old World should be 
pondered deeply by the nations of the New World; 
by Chile, Argentina, and Brazil no less than by 
the United States. The world war has proved 
beyond peradventure that the principle underly- 


ing the Monroe Doctrine is of vast moment to 
the welfare of all America, and that neither this 
nor any other principle can be made effective 
save as power is put behind it. 

Belgium was absolutely innocent of offense. 
Her cities have been laid waste or held to ransom 
for gigaijtic sums of money; her fruitful fields 
have been trampled into mire; her sons have 
died on the field of battle; her daughters are 
broken-hearted fugitives; a million of her people 
have fled to foreign lands. Entirely disregarding 
all accusations as to outrages on individuals, it 
yet remains true that disaster terrible beyond be- 
lief has befallen this peaceful nation of six million 
people who themselves had been guilty of not 
even the smallest wrong-doing. Louvain and Di- 
nant are smoke-grimed and blood-stained ruins. 
Brussels has been held to enormous ransom, 
although it did not even strive to defend itself. 
Antwerp did strive to defend itself. Because 
soldiers in the forts attempted to repulse the 
enemy, hundreds of houses in the undefended city 
were wrecked with bombs from air-ships, and 
liirongs of peaceful men, women, and children 
were driven from their homes by the sharp terror 
of death. Be it remembered always that not one 
man in Brussels, not one man in Antwerp, had 
even the smallest responsibility for the disaster 
inflicted upon them. Innocence has proved not 


even the smallest safegtiard against such woe and 
suffering as we in this land can at present hardly 

What befell Antwerp and Brussels will surely 
some day befall New York or San Francisco, and 
may happen to many an inland dty also, if we do 
not shake off our supine folly, if we trust for safety 
to peace treaties unbacked by force. At the be- 
ginning of last month, by the appointment of the 
President, peace services were held in the churches 
of this land. As far as these services consisted of 
sermons and prayers of good and wise people who 
wished peace only if it represented righteousness, 
who did not desire that peace should come unless 
it came to consecrate jtistice and not wrong-doing, 
good and not evil, the movement represented good. 
In so far, however, as the movement was tmder- 
stood to be one for immediate peace without any 
regard to righteousness or justice, without any 
regard for righting the wrongs of those who have 
been crushed by unmerited disaster, then the 
movement represented mischief, precisely as fifty 
years ago, in 1864, in our own country a similar 
movement for peace, to be obtained by acjknowl- 
edgment of disunion and by the perpetuation of 
slavery, would have represented mischief. In the 
present case, however, the mischief was confined 
purely to those taking part in the movement in 
an unworthy spirit; for (like the peace parades 


and newspaper peace petitions) it was a merely 
subjective phenomenon; it had not the slightest 
effect of any kind, sort, or description upon any 
of the combatants abroad and could not possibly 
have any effect upon them. It is well for our own 
sakes that we should pray sincerely and humbly 
for the peace of righteousness; but we must 
guard ourselves from any illusion as to the news 
of our having thus prayed producing the least 
effect upon those engaged in the war. 

There is just one way in which to meet the up- 
holders of the doctrine that might makes right. 
To do so we must prove that right will make might, 
by backing right with might. 

In his second inaugural address Andrew Jackson 
laid down the rule by which every national Amer- 
ican administration ought to guide itself, saying: 
**The foreign policy adopted by our government 
is to do justice to all, and to submit to wrong by 

The statement of the dauntless old fighter of 
New Orleans is as true now as when he wrote it. 
We must stand absolutely for righteousness. But 
to do so is utterly without avail tmless we possess 
the strength and the loftiness of spirit which will 
back righteousness with deeds and not mere words. 
We must dear the rubbish from off our souls and 
admit that ever3rthing that has been done in pass- 
ing peace treaties, arbitration treaties, neutrality 


treaties, Hague treaties, and the like, with no 
sanction of force behind them, amounts to lit- 
erally and absolutely zero, to literally and abso- 
lutely nothing, in any time of serious crisis. We 
must recognize that to enter into foolish treaties 
which cannot be kept is as wicked as to break 
treaties which can and ought to be kept. We 
must labor for an international agreement among 
the great civilized nations which shall put the full 
force of all of them back of any one of them, and 
of any well-behaved weak nation, which is wronged 
by any other power. Until we have completed 
this purpose, we must keep ourselves ready, high 
of heart and undaunted of soul, to back our rights 
with our strength. 




MOST Western Americans who are past 
middle age remember yotmg, rapidly 
growing, and turbulent communities in 
which there was at first complete anarchy. Dur- 
ing the time when there was no central police 
power to which to appeal every man worth his 
salt, in other words every man fit for existence 
in such a community, had to be prepared to 
defend himself; and usually, although not al- 
ways, the fact that he was prepared saved him 
from all trouble, whereas unpreparedness was ab- 
solutely certain to invite disaster. 

In such communities before there was a regular 
and fully organized police force there came an 
interval during which the preservation of the 
peace depended upon the action of a single oflSdal, 
a sheriff or marshal, who if the law was defied in 
arrogant fashion summoned a posse comitatus 
composed of as many armed, thoroughly efficient, 
law-abiding citizens as were necessary in order to 

put a stop to the wrong-doing. Under these con- 



ditions each man had to keep himself armed and 
both able and willing to respond to the call of 
the peace-officer; and furthermore, if he had a 
shred of wisdom he kept himself ready in an 
emergency to act on his own behalf if the peace- 
officer did not or could not do his duty. 

In such towns I have myself more than once 
seen well-meaning but foolish citizens endeavor 
to meet the exigencies of the case by simply 
passing resolutions of disarmament without any 
power balck of them. That is, they passed self- 
denying ordinances, saying that nobody was to 
carry arms; but they failed to provide methods 
for CBTtying such ordinances into effect. In every 
case the result was the same. Good citizens for 
the moment abandoned their weapons. The bad 
men continued to carry them. Things grew worse 
instead of better; and then the good men came 
to their senses and clothed some representative of 
the police with power to employ force, potential 
or existing, against the wrong-doers. 

Affairs in the international world are at this 
time in analogous condition. There is no central 
police power, and not the least likelihood of its 
being created. Well-meaning enthusiasts have 
tried their hands to an almost unlimited extent 
in the way of devising all-inclusive arbitration 
treaties, neutrality treaties, disarmament propo- 
sals, and the Hke, with no force back of them. 


and the result has been stupendous and discredit- 
able failure. Preparedness for war on the part 
of individual nations has sometimes but not al- 
ways averted war. Unpreparedness for war, as 
in the case of China, Korea, and Luxembourg, 
has invariably invited smashing disaster, and 
sometimes complete conquest. Surely these con- 
ditions should teach a lesson that any man who 
runs may read tmless his eyes have been blinded 
by folly or his heart weakened by cowardice. 

The immediately vital lesson for each individual 
nation is that as things are now it must in time 
of crisis rely on its own stout hearts and ready 
hands for self-defense. Existing treaties are utterly 
worthless so far as concerns protecting any free, 
well-behaved people from one of the great aggres- 
sive military monarchies of the world. The all- 
inclusive arbitration treaties such as those recently 
negotiated by Messrs. Wilson and Bryan, when 
taken in connection with our refusal to act under 
existing treaties, represent about the highest point 
of slightly mischievous fatuity which can be at- 
tained in international matters. Inasmuch as we 
ourselves are the power that initiated their negoti- 
ation, we can do our plain duty to ourselves and 
otir neighbors only by otirselves proceeding from 
the outset on the theory, and by warning our neigh- 
bors, that these treaties in any time of crisis will 
certainly not be respected by any serious adver- 


sary, and probably will of necessity be violated by 
ourselves* They do not in even the very smallest 
degree relieve us of the necessity of preparedness 
for war. To this point of our duty to be prepared 
I will return later. 

But we ought not to and must not rest content 
merely with working for our own defense. The 
utterly appalling calamity that has befallen the 
civilized world during the last five months, and, 
above all, the horrible catastrophe that has over- 
whehned Belgium without Belgium's having the 
smallest responsibility in the matter, must make 
the least thoughtful realize how unsatisfactory is 
the present basis of international relations among 
civilized powers. In order to make things better 
several things are necessary. We must clearly 
grasp the fact that mere selfish avoidance of duty 
to others, even although covered by such fine 
words as "peace" and "neutrality," is a wretched 
thing and an obstacle to securing the peace of 
righteousness throughout the world. We must rec- 
ognize clearly the old common-law doctrine that a 
right without a remedy is void. We must firmly 
grasp the fact that measures should be taken to 
put force back of good faith in the .observance 
of treaties. The worth of treaties depends purely 
upon the good faith with which they are exe- 
cuted; and it is mischievous folly to enter into 
treaties without providing for their execution and 


wicked folly to enter into them if they ought not 
to be executed. 

It is necessary to devise means for putting the 
collective and efficient strength of all the great 
powers of civilization back of any well-behaved 
power which is wronged by another power. In 
other words, we must devise means for executing 
treaties in good faith, by the establishment of 
some great international tribunal, and by securing 
the enforcement of the decrees of this tribunal 
through the action of a posse comitatus of power- 
ful and civilized nations, all of them being botmd 
by solemn agreement to coerce any power that 
offends against the decrees of the tribtmal. That 
there will be grave difficulties in successfully 
working out this plan I would be the first to con- 
cede, and I would be the first to insist that to 
work it out successfully would be impossible 
unless the nations acted in good faith. But the 
plan is feasible, and it is the only one which at the 
moment offers any chance of success. Ever since 
the days of Henry IV of France there^has been a 
growth, slow and halting to be sure but yet evi- 
dently a growth, in recognition by the public con- 
sdence of civilized nations that there should be a 
method of making the rules of international 
morality obligatory and binding among the powers. 
But merely to trust to public opinion without 
organized force back of it is silly. Force must be 



put hack of justice, and nations must not shrink 
from the duty of proceeding by any means that 
are necessary against wrong-doers. It is the fail- 
ure to recognize these vital truths that has ren- 
dered the actions of our government during the 
last few years impotent to preserve world peace 
and fruitful only in earning for us the half -veiled 
derision of other nations. 

The attitude of the present administration dur- 
ing the laist five months shows how worthless the 
present treaties, unbacked by force, are, and how 
utterly ineffective mere passive neutrality is to 
secure even the smallest advance in world moral- 
ity. I have been very reluctant in any way to 
criticise the action of the present administration 
in foreign affairs;,! have faithfully, and in some 
cases against my own deep-rooted personal con- 
victions, sought to justify what it has done in 
Mexico and as regards the present war; but the 
time has come when loyalty to the administra- 
tion's action in foreign affairs means disloyalty 
to our national self-interest and to our obligations 
toward humanity at large. As regards Belgium 
the administration has clearly taken the ground 
that our own selfish ease forbids us to fulfil our 
explicit obligations to small neutral states when 
they are deeply wronged. It will never be pos- 
sible in any war to commit a clearer breach of in- 
ternational morality than that committed by 


Germany in the invasion and subjugation of 
Belgium. Every one of the nations involved in 
this war, and the United States as well, have 
committed such outrages in the past. But the 
very purpose of the Hague conventions and of 
all similar international agreements was to put a 
stop to such misconduct in the future. 

At the outset I ask our people to remember 
that what I say is based on the assumption that 
we are bound in good faith to fulfil our treaty 
obligations; that we will neither favor nor con- 
demn any other nation except on the ground of its 
behavior; that we fed as much good-will to the 
people of Germany or Axistria as to the people of 
England, of France, or of Russia; that we speak 
for Belgium only as we could speak for Holland 
or Switzerland or one of the Scandinavian or 
Balkan nations; and that if the circumstances as 
regards Belgium had been, reversed we would have 
protested as emphatically against wrong action 
by England or Prance as we now protest against 
wrong action by Germany. 

The United States and the great powers now 
at war were parties to the international code 
created in the regulations annexed to the Hague 
conventions of 1899 and 1907. As President, 
acting on behalf of this government, and in ac- 
cordance with the unanimous wish of otu' people, 
I ordered the signature of the United States to 


these conventions. Most emphatically I would 
not have permitted such a farce to have gone 
through if it had entered my head that this gov- 
ernment would not consider itself botmd to do 
all it could to see that the regulations to which it 
'made itself a party were actually observed when 
the necessity for their observance arose. I can- 
not imagine any sensible nation thinking it worth 
while to sign future Hague conventions if even 
such a powerful neutral as the United States 
does not care enough about them to protest 
against their open breach. Of the present neutral 
powers the United States of America is the most 
disinterested and the strongest, and should there- 
fore bear the main burden of responsibility in this 

It is quite possible to make an argument to the 
eflfect that we never shotdd have entered into the 
Hague conventions, because our sole duty is to 
ourselves and not to others, and our sole concern 
should be to keep ourselves at peace, at any 
cost, and not to help other powers that are op- 
pressed, and not to protest against wrong-doing. 
I do not myself accept this view; bu^ in practice 
it is the view taken by the present administra- 
tion, apparently with at the moment the approval 
of the mass of our people. Such a policy, while 
certainly not exalted, and in my judgment neither 
far-sighted nor worthy of a high-spirited and lofty- 


souled nation, is yet in a sense understandable, 
and in a sense defensible. 

But it is quite indefensible to make agreements 
and not live up to them. The dimax of absurdity 
is for any administration to do what the present 
administration during the last five months has 
done. Mr. Wilson's administration has shirked 
doing the duty plainly imposed on it by the 
obligations of the conventions already entered 
into; and at the same time it has sought to 
obtain cheap credit by entering into a couple 
of score new treaties infinitely more drastic than 
the old ones, and quite impossible of honest ful- 
filment. When the Belgian people complained 
of violations of the Hague tribunal, it was a 
mockery, it was a timid and unworthy abandon- 
ment of duty on our part, for President Wilson 
to ref^r them back to the Hague court, when he 
knew that the Hague court was less than a 
shadow tmless the United States by doing its 
clear duty gave the Hague court some substance. 
If the Hague conventions represented nothing 
but the expression of feeble aspirations toward 
decency, uttered only in time of profound peace, 
and not to be even expressed above a whisper 
when with awful bloodshed and suflFering the 
conventions were broken, then it was idle folly 
to enter into them. If, on the other hand, they 
meant anything, if the United States had a seri- 


ous purpose, a serious sense of its obligations to 
worid righteousness, when it entered into them, 
then its plain duty as the trustee of civilization 
is to investigate the charges solemnly made as to 
the violation of the Hague conventions. If such 
investigation is made, and if the charges prove 
well founded, then it is the duty of the United 
States to take whatever action may be necessary 
to vindicate the principles of international law 
set forth in these conventions. 

I am not concerned with the charges of individ- 
ual atrocity. The prime fact is that Belgium 
committed no offense whatever, and yet that 
her territory has been invaded and her people 
subjugated. This prime fact cannot be left out 
of consideration in dealing with any matter that 
has occurred in connection with it. Her neutral- 
ity has certainly been violated, and this is in 
dear violation of the fundamental principles of 
the Hague conventions. It appears clear that 
undefended towns have been bombarded, and 
that towns which were defended have been at- 
tacked with bombs at a time when no attack 
was made upon the defenses. This is certainly 
in contravention of the Hague agreement for- 
bidding the bombardment of undefended towns. 
Illegal and excessive contributions are expressly 
condemned under Articles 49 and 52 of the con- 
ventions. If these articles do not forbid the 


levying of such sums as $4o»ooo»ooo from Brussels 
and $90,000,000 from the province of Brabant, 
then the articles are absolutely meaningless. 
Articles 43 and 50 explicitly forbid the infliction 
of a collective penalty, pecuniary or otherwise, on 
a population on account of acts of individuals for 
which it cannot be regarded as collectively re- 
sponsible. Either this prohibition is meaningless 
or. it prohibits jtist such acts as the punitive 
destruction of Vise, Louvain, Aerschot, and 
Dinant. Furthermore, a great deal of the ap- 
palling devastation of central and eastern Belgium 
has been apparently terrorizing and not punitive 
in its purpose, and this is explicitly forbidden by 
the Hague conventions. 

Now, it may be that there is an explanation 
and justification for a portion of what has been 
done. But if the Hague conventions mean any- 
thing, and if bad faith in the observation of 
treaties is not to be treated with cjmical indif- 
ference, then the United States government should 
inform itself as to the facts, and should take what- 
ever action is necessary in reference thereto. The 
extent to which the action should go may properly 
be a subject for discussion. But that there should 
be some action is beyond discussion ; unless, indeed, 
we ourselves are content to take the view that 
treaties, conventions, and international engage- 
ments and agreements of all kinds are to be 


treated by us and by everybody else as what 
they have been authoritatively declared to be, 
"scraps of paper," the writing on which is in- 
tended for no better purpose than temporarily to 
amuse the feeble-minded. 

If the above statements seem in the eyes of my 
German friends hostile to Germany, let me em- 
phasize the fact that they are predicated upon a 
course of action which if extended and applied as 
it should be extended and applied wotdd range 
the United States on the side of Germany if any 
sudi assault were made upon Germany as has 
been made upon Belgium, or if either Belgitun or 
any of the other allies committed similar wrong- 
doing. Many Germans assert and believe that 
if Germany had not acted as she did France and 
England would have invaded Belgium and have 
conomitted similar wrongs. In such case it wotdd 
have been our clear duty to behave toward them 
exactly as we ought now to behave toward Ger- 
many.. But the fact that other powers might 
under other conditions do wrong, affords no justi- 
fication for failure to act on the wrong that has 
actually been committed. It must always be 
kept in mind, however, that we cannot expect the 
nation against whose actions we protest to accept 
our position as warranted, unless we make it clear 
that we have both the will and the power to in- 
terfere on behalf of that nation if in its ttun it is 


oppressed. In other words, we must show that 
we believe in right and therefore in living up to 
our promises in good faith; and, furthermore, that 
we are both able and ready to put might behind 

As I have before said, I think that the party 
in Germany which beUeves in a policy of aggres- 
sion represents but a minority of the nation. It 
is powerful only because the great majority of 
the German people are rightfully in fear of ag- 
gression at the expense of Germany, and sanction 
striking only because they fear lest they them- 
selves be struck. The greatest service that cotild 
be rendered to peace would be to convince Ger- 
many, as well as other powers, that in such event 
we wotild do all we cotdd on behalf of the power 
that was wronged. Extremists in England, 
France, and Russia talk as if the proper outcome 
of the present war would be the utter dismember- 
ment of Germany and her reduction to impotence 
such as that which followed for her upon the 
Thirty Years' War. I have actually received let- 
ters from Frenchmen and Englishmen upbraid- 
ing me for what they regard as a pro-German 
leaning in these articles I have written. To these 
well-meaning persons I can only say that Amer- 
icans who remember the extreme bitterness felt 
by Northerners for Southerners, and Southerners 
for Northerners, at the end of the Civil War, are 


saddened but in no wise astonished that other 
peoples should show a like bitterness. I can only 
repeat that to dismember and hopelessly shatter 
Germany would be a frightful calamity for man- 
kind, precisely as the dismemberment and shat- 
tering of the British Empire or of the French 
Republic would be. It is right that the United 
States should regard primarily its own interests. 
But I beUeve that I speak for a considerable nirni- 
ber of my countrymen when I say that we ought 
not solely to consider our own interests. Above 
all, we should not do as the present administra- 
tion does; for it refuses to take any concrete action 
in favor of any nation which is wronged; and yet 
it also refuses to act so that we may ourselves be 
sufficient for our own protection. 

We ought not to trust in words tmbacked by 
deeds. We shotild be able to defend ourselves. 
We should also be ready and able to join in pre- 
venting the infliction of disaster of the kind of 
which I speak upon any civilized power, great or 
small, whether it be at the present time Belgium, 
or at some futtu^e day Germany or England, 
Holland, Sweden or Hungary, Russia or Japan. 

So much for questions of international right, 
and of our duty to others in international affairs. 
Now for our duty to ourselves. 

A sincere desire to act well toward other nations 
must not blind us to the fact that as yet the 


standard of international morality is both low 
and irregular. The behavior of the great mili- 
tary empires of the Old World, in rrference to 
their treaty obligations and their moral obliga- 
tions toward countries such as Bdgiimi, Finland, 
and Korea, shows that it would be utter folly for 
us in any grave crisis to trust to anything save our 
own preparedness and resolution for our safety. 
The other day there appeared in the newspapers 
extracts from a translation of a report made by an 
ofiScer of the Prussian army staff outlining the 
plan of operations by Germany in the event of 
war with America. Gr^t surprise was ex* 
pressed by iimocent Americans that such plans 
should be in existence, and certain gentlemen who 
speak for Germany denied that the report (which 
was printed and openly sold in German^r in 
pamphlet form) was "official." Neither the re- 
sentment expressed nor yet the denials were 
necessary. One feature of the admirable pre- 
paredness in which Germany and Japan stand 
so far above all other nations, and especially 
above our own, is their careful consideration of 
hostilities with all possible antagonists. Bem- 
hardi's famous books treat of possible war with 
Austria, and possible attack by Austria upon Ger- 
many, although the prime lessons that they teach 
are those contained in the possibility of war as it 
has actually occurred, with Germany and Austria 



in alliance. This does not indicate German hos- 
tility to Austria; it merely indicates German 
willingness to look squarely in the face all possible 
facts. Of course, and quite property, the German 
General Staff has carefully considered the question 
of hostilities with America, and, of course, plans 
were drawn up with minute care and prevision 
at the time when there was friction between the 
two countries over Samoa, at the time when 
Admiral Dietrich clashed with Dewey in Manila 
Bay, and on the later occasion when there was 
friction in connection with Venezuela, This did 
not represent any special German ill will toward 
America. It represented the common-sense — 
albeit somewhat cold-blooded — consideration of 
possibilities by Germany's rulers; and the failure 
to give this consideration would have reflected 
severely upon these rulers — ^although I do not re- 
gard some of the actions proposed as proper from 
the standpoint of warfare as the United States has 
practised it. To become angry because such plans 
eidst would be childish. To fail to profit by our 
knowledge that they certainly do exist would, 
however, be not merely childish but imbecile. I 
have myself become personally cognizant of the 
existence of such plans for operations against us, 
and of the larger features of their details, in two 
cases, affecting two different nations. 
The essential feature of these plans was (and 


doubtless is) the seizure of some of our great coast 
cities and the terrorization of these cities so as to 
make them give enormous ransoms; ransoms of 
such size that our own country would be crippled, 
whereas our foes would be enabled to run the war 
against us with a handsome profit to themselves. 
These plans are based, of course, upon the belief 
that we have not suflBcient foresight and intelli- 
gence to keep our navy in first-dass condition, 
and upon not merely the belief but the knowledge 
that our regular army is so small and our utter 
unpreparedness otherwise so great that on land 
we would be entirely helpless against a moderate- 
sized expeditionary force belonging to any first- 
class military power. Foreign military and naval 
observers know well that our navy has been used 
during the last eighteen months in connection with 
the Mexican situation in such manner as to accom- 
plish the minimum of results as regards Mexico, 
while at the same time to do the maximum of 
damage in interrupting the manoeuvring iand the 
gun practice of our fleets. They regard Messrs. 
Wilson and Bryan as representative of the Amer- 
ican people in their entire inability to imder- 
stand the real nature of the forces that underlie 
international relations and the importance of pre- 
paredness. They are entirely cold-blooded in their 
views of us. Foreign rulers may despise us for 
our supine unpreparedness, and for our readiness 


to make treaties, taken together with otir refusal 
to fulfil these treaties by seeking to avert wrong 
done to others. But their contempt will not 
prevent their using this nation as arbiter in order 
to bring about peace if to do so suits their pur- 
poses; and if, on the contrary, one or the other 
of the several great military empires becomes the 
world mistress as the result of this war, that 
power will infringe our rights whenever and to 
the extent that it deems it advantageous to do 
so, and wiU make war upon us whenever it be- 
Ueves that such war will be to its own advantage. 
In the event of such a war against us it is well 
to remember that the spiritless and selfish type 
of neutrality which we have observed in the 
present war will be remembered by aU other 
nations on whichever side they have been en- 
gaged in this contest, and wiU give each of them 
more or less satisfaction in the event of disaster 
befalKng us. These nations, if they come to a 
deadlock as the result of this war, will not be 
withheld by any sentiment of indignation against 
or contempt for us from utilizing the services of 
the President as a meditun for bringing about 
peace, if this seems the most convenient method 
of getting peace. But, whether they do this or 
not, they will retain a smouldering ill will toward 
us, one and all of them; and if we were assailed 
it would be utterly quixotic, utterly fooU«h of 


any one of them to come to our aid no matter 
what wrongs were inflicted upon us. It would be 
quite impossible for any power to treat us worse 
than Belgium has been treated by Germany or 
to attack us with less warrant than was shown 
when Belgium was attacked. Bombs have been 
continually dropped by the Germans in the city 
of Paris and in other cities, wrecking private 
houses and killing men, women, and children at 
a time when there was no pretense that any 
military attacks were being made upon the cities, 
or that any other object was served than that 
of terrorizing the civilian population. Cities have 
been destroyed and others held to huge ransom. 
All these practices are forbidden by the Hague 
conventions. Inasmuch as we have not made a 
single protest against them when other powers 
have suffered, it would be both ridiculous and 
humiliating for us to make even the slightest 
appeal for assistance or to expect any assistance 
from any other powers if ever we in our turn 
suffer in like fashion. It would be ptu*ely our 
affair. We would have no right to expect that 
other powers would take the kind of action 
which we otu'selves have refused to take. It 
would be our time to take our medicine, and it 
would be folly and cowardice to make wry faces 
over it or to expect sympathy, still less aid, from 
outsiders. As I have already stated, my own 


view is most strongly that, if we are assailed in 
accordance with the plans of foreign powers 
above mentioned, it wotild be our business posi- 
tively to refuse to allow any city to ransom itself, 
and sternly to accept the destruction of New 
York, or San Francisco, or any other city as the 
alternative of such ransom. Our duty would be 
to accept these disasters as the payment right- 
fully due from us to fate for our folly in having 
listened to the clamor of the feeble folk among 
the ultrapadfidsts, and in having indorsed the 
unspeakable silliness of the policy contained in 
the proposed all-inclusive arbitration treaties of 
Mr. Taft and in the accomplished all-inclusive 
arbitration treaties of Messrs. Wilson and Bryan. 
I very earnestly hope that this nation will 
ultimately adopt a dignified and self-respecting 
policy in international affairs. I earnestly hope 
that ultimately we shall live up to every inter- 
national obligation we have unaertaken — exactly 
as we did live up to them during the seven and 
a half years while I was President. XI earnestly 
hope that we shall ourselves become one of the 
joint guarantors of world peace under such a 

plan as that I in this book outline, and that we 
shall hold ourselves ready and willing to act as a 
member of the international posse comitatus to 
enforce the peace of righteousness as against any 
offender big. or small. This would mean a great 


practical stride toward relief from the burden of 
excessive military preparation. It would mean 
that a long step had been takbn toward at least 
minimizing and restricting the area and extent of 
possible warfare. It would mean that all liberty- 
loving and enlightened peoples, great and small, 
would be freed from the haunting nightmare of 
terror which now besets them when they think 
of the possible conquest of their land. 

Until this can be done we owe it to ourselves as 
a nation effectively to safeguard ourselves against 
all likelihood of disaster at the hands of a foreign 
foe. We should bring our navy up to the highest 
ixrint of preparedness, we should handle it purely 
from military considerations, and should see that 
the training was never intermitted. We should 
make our little regular army larger and more 
effective than at present. We should provide for 
it an adequate reserve. In addition, I most heart- 
ily believe that we should return to the ideal held 
by our people in the days of Washington although 
never lived up to by them. We should follow 
the example of saph^ypical demop^es as Swit- 
zerland and Austraha and provide aiid require mih- 
tary training for all our young men. Switzerland's 
efficient army has unquestionably been ^ the chief 
reason why in this war there has been no violation 
of her neutrality. Australia's system of military 
training has enabled her at once to ship large 


bodies of first-rate fighting men to England's aid. 
Our northern neighbors have done even better 
than Australia; perhaps special mention should 
be made of St. John, Newfoundland, which has 
sent to the front one in five of her adult male 
population, a larger percentage than any other 
city of the empire; a feat probably due to the 
fact that in practically all her schools there is 
good military training, while her young men have 
much practice in shooting tournaments. England 
at the moment is saved from the fate of Belgium 
only because of her navy; and the small size of her 
army, her lack of arms, her lack of previous prepa- 
rations doubtless afford the chief reason why this 
war has occurred at all at this time. There would 
probably have been no war if England had fol- 
lowed the advice so often urged on her by the 
lamented Lord Roberts, for in that case she would 
have been able immediately to put in the field 
an army as large and effective as, for instance, 
that of France. 

Training of our young men in field manoeuvres 
and in marksmanship, as is done in Switzerland, 
and to a slightly less extent in Australia, would 
be of immense advantage to the physique and 
morale of our whole population. It would not 
represent any withdrawal of our population from 
civil xnu^uits, such as occurs among the great 
military states of the European Continent. In 


Switzerland, for instance, the ground training is 
given in the schools, and the young man after 
gradtiating serves only some four months with the 
branch of the army to which he is attached, and 
after that only about eight dajrs a year, not count- 
ing his rifle practice. All serve alike, rich and poor, 
without any exceptions; and all whom I have 
ever met, the poor even more than the rich, are 
enthusiastic over the beneficial effects of the 
service and the increase in self-reliance, self-re- 
spect, and efficiency which it has brought. The 
utter worthlessness of make-believe soldiers who 
have not been trained, and who are improvised on 
the Wilson-Bryan theory, will be evident to any 
one who cares to read such works as Professor 
Johnson's recent volume on Bull Run. Our people 
should make a thorough study of the Swiss and 
Australian systems, and then adapt them to our 
own use. To do so would not be a stride toward 
war, as the feeble folk among the ultrapadficists 
would doubtless maintain. It would be the most 
effectual possible guarantee that peace wotild 
dwell within our borders; and it would also make 
it possible for us not only to insure peace for our- 
selves, but to have our words carry weight if we 
spoke against the commission of wrong and in- 
justice at the expense of others. 

But we must always remember that no institu- 
tions will avail unless the private citizen has the 


right spirit. When a leading congressman, him- 
sdf with war experience, shows conclusively in 
open speech in the House that we are utteriy un- 
prepared to do our duty to ourselves if assailed, 
President Wilson answers him with a cheap 
sneer, with unworthy levity; and the repeated 
warnings of General Wood are treated with the 
same indifference. Nevertheless, I do not believe 
that this attitude on the part of otir public ser- 
vants really represents the real convictions of the 
average American. The ideal citizen of a free 
state must have in him the stufE which in time 
of need will enable him to show himself a first- 
dass fighting man who scorns either to endure or 
to inflict wrong. American society is sotmd at 
core and this means that at bottom we, as a 
people, accept as the basis of sotmd morality not 
slothful ease and" soft selfishness and the loud 
timidity that fears every species of risk and 
hardship, but the virile strength of manliness 
which clings to the ideal of stem, unflinching 
performance of duty, and which follows whither- 
soever that ideal may lead. 


THE other day one of the typical ultra- 
pacificists or peace-at-any-price men put 
the tdtrapadficist case quite clearly, both 
in a statement of his own and by a quotation of 
what he called the "golden words" of Mr. Bryan 
at Mohonk. In arguing that we should under no 
conditions fight for our rights, and that we should 
make no preparation whatever to secure our- 
selves against wrong, this writer pointed out 
China as the proper model for America. He did 
this on the ground that China, which did not 
fight, was yet "older" than Rome, Greece, and 
Germany, which had fought, and that its example 
was therefore to be preferred. 

This, of course, is a position which saves the 
need of argtmient. If the average American wants 
to be a Chinaman, if China represents his ideal, 
then he should by all means follow the advice of 
pacificists like the writer in question and be a 
supporter of Mr. Bryan. If any man seriously 

believes that China has played a nobler ^d more 



useful part in the world than Athens and Rome 
and Germany, then he is quite right to try to 
Chinafy the United States. In such event he 
must of course believe that all the culture, all the 
literature, all the art, all the political and cultural 
liberty and social well-being, which modem Eu- 
rope and the two Americas have inherited from 
Rome and Greece, and that all that has be^n done 
by Germany from the days of Charlemagne to 
the present time, represent mere error and con- 
fusion. He must believe that;the average German 
or Frenchman or Englishman/r inhabitant of 
North or South America occtipies a lower moral, 
intellectual, and physical st^^ th^^ the average 
codie who with h^ fellows composes the over- 
whelming majority of the Chinese population. 
To my mind such a proposition is unfit for debate 
outside of certain types of asylum. But those 
who sincerely take the view that this gentleman 
takes are unquestionably right in copying China 
in every detail, and nothing that I can say wiU 
appeal to them. 

The "golden words" of Mr. Bryan were as 
follows : 

I believe that this nation could stand before the world 
to-day and tell the world that it did not believe in war, 
that it did not believe that it was the right way to settle 
disputes, that it had no disputes which it was not willing 
to submit to the judgment of the world. If this nation 


did that, it not only would not be attacked by any other 
nation on the earth, but it would become the supreme 
power in the world. 

Of course, it is to be assumed that Mr. Bryan 
means what he says. If he does, then he is will- 
ing to submit to arbitration the question Whether 
the Japanese have or have not the right to send 
unlimited numbers of immigrants to this shore. 
If Mr. Bryan does not mean this, among other 
specific things, then the ''golden words" in ques- 
tion represent merely the emotionalism of the pro- 
fessional orator. (X course if Mr. Biyan means 
what he says, he also believes that we should not 
have interfered in Cuba and that Cuba ought now 
to be the property of Spain. He also believes 
that we ought to have permitted Colombia to 
reconquer and deprive of their independence the 
people of Panama, and that we should not have 
built the Panama Canal. He also believes that 
California and Texas ought now to be parts of 
Mexico, enjoying whatever blessings complete 
abstinence from foreign war has secured that 
coimtry during the last three years. He also be- 
lieves that the Declaration of Independence was 
an arbitrable matter and that the United States 
ought now to be a dependency of Great Britain. 
Unless Mr. Bryan does believe all of these things 
then his ''golden words" represent only a rhetor- 


ical flourish. He is Secretary of State and the 
right-hand man of President Wilson, and President 
Wilson a completely responsible for whatever he 
says and for the things he does — or rather which 
he leaves tindone. 

Now, it is quite useless for me to write with 
any view to convincing gentlemen like Mr. Bryan 
and the writer in question. If they really do 
represent our fellow countrymen, then they are 
right in holding up China as our ideal; not the 
modem China, not the China that is changing 
and moving forward, but old China. In such 
event Americans ought frankly to dass themselves 
with the Chinese. That is where, on this theory, 
they belong. If this is so, then let us fervently 
pray that the Japanese or Germans or some other 
virile people that does not deify moral, mental, 
and physical impotence, may speedily come to rule 
over us. 

I am, however, writing on the assumption that 
Americans are still on the whole like their fore- 
fathers who followed Washington, and like their 
fathers who fought in the armies of Grant and 
Lee. I am writing on the assumption that, even 
though temporarily misled, they will not perma- 
nently and tamely submit to oppression, and that 
they will ultimately think intelligently as to what 
they should do to safeguard themselves against 
aggression. I abhor unjust war, and I deplore 


that the need even for just war should ever occur. 
I believe we should set our faces like flint against 
any policy of aggression by this country on the 
rights of any other country. But I believe that 
we should look facts in the face. I believe that 
it is unworthy weakness to fear to face the truth. 
Moreover, I believe that we should have in us 
that fibre of manhood which will make us follow 
duty whithersoever it may lead. Unquestionably, 
we should render all the service it is in our power 
to render to righteousness. To do this we must 
be able to back righteousness with force, to put 
might back of right. It may well be that by fol- 
lowing out this theory we can in the end do our 
part in conjunction with other nations of the 
world to bring about, if not — as I hope — a, world 
peace, yet at least an important minimizing of the 
chances for war and of the areas of possible war. 
But meanwhile it is absolutely our duty to pre- 
pare for otu: own defense. 

Thi3 country needs something like the Swiss 
system of war training for its yoting men. Switzer- 
land is one of the most democratic governments 
in the world, and it has given its young men such 
an efficient training as to insure entire prepar- 
edness for war, without sulBfering from the least 
touch of militarism. Switzerland is at peace now 
primarily because all the great military nations 
that surround it know that its people have no 


intention of making aggression on anybody and 
yet that they are thoroughly prepared to hold 
their own and are resolute to fight to the last 
against any invader who attempts either to sub- ' 
jugate their territory or by violating its neutrality 
to make it a battle-ground. 

A bishop of the Episcopal Church recently 
wrote me as follows: 

How lamentable that we should stand idle, making no 
preparations to enforce peace, and crying "peace" when 
there is none! I have scant S3mapathy for the short- 
sightedness of those who decry preparation for war as a 
means of preventing it. 

The manager of a land company in Alabama 
writes me urging that some one speak for reason- 
able preparedness on the part of the nation. He 
states that it is always possible that we shall be 
engaged in hostilities with some first-class power, 
that he hopes and believes that war will never 
come, but adds: 

I may not believe that my home will bum down or 
that I am going to die within the period of my expec- 
tancy, but nevertheless I carry fire and life insurance to , 
the full insurable value on my property and on my life 
to the extent of my ability. The only insurance of our 
liberties as a people is full preparation for a defense ade- 
quate against any attack and made in time to fully meet 
any attack. We do not know the attack is coming; but 


to wait until it does come will be too late. Our present 
weakness lies in the wide-spread opinion among our people 
that this country is invincible because of its laige popu- 
lation and vast resources. This I believe is true if, and 
only if y we use these resources or a small part of them to 
protect the major part, and if we train at least a part of 
our people how to defend the nation. Under existing 
conditions we can hardly hope to have an effective army 
in the field in less time than eight or ten months. To-day 
not one per cent of our people know anything about 
rifle shooting. 

I quote these two out of many letters, because 
they stun up the general feeling of men of vision. 
Both of my correspondents are most sincerely 
for peace. No man can possibly be more anxious 
for peace than I am. I ask those individuals who 
think of me as a firebrand to remember that dur- 
ing the seven and a half years I was President not 
a shot was fired at any soldier of a hostile nation 
by any American soldier or sailor, and there was 
not so much as a threat of war. Even when the 
state of Panama threw off the alien yoke of Co- 
lombia and when this nation, acting as was its 
maoifest duty, by recognizing Panama as an in- 
dependent state stood for the right of the governed 
to govern themselves on the Isthmus, as well as 
for justice and humanity, there was not a shot 
fired by any of* our people at any Colombian. The 
blood recently shed at Vera Cruz, like the un- 
punished wrongs recently committed on our people 


in Mexico, had no parallel during my administra- 
tion. When I left the presidency there was not 
a doud on the horizon — and one of the reasons 
why there was not a doud on the horizcm was that 
the American battle fleet had just returned from 
its sixteen months' trip around the world, a trip 
such as no other battle fleet of any power had 
ever taken, which it had not been supposed could 
be taken, and which exerdsed a greater influence 
for peace than all the peace congresses of the last 
fifty years. With Lowell I most emphatically be- 
Ueve that peace is not a gift that tarries long in 
the hands of cowards; and the fool and the weak- 
ling are no. improvement on the coward. 
' Nineteen centuries ago in the greatest of all 
books we were warned that whoso loses his life 
for righteousness shall save it and that he who 
seeks to save it shall lose it. The ignoble and 
abject gospel of those who would teach tis that 
it is prdEerable to endure disgrace and discredit 
than to run any risk to life or limb would defeat 
its own pttrpose; for that kind of submission to 
wrong-doing merely invites further wrong-doing, 
as has been shown a thousand times in history 
and as is shown by the case of China in our own 
days. Moreover, our people, however ill-prepared, 
wotild never consent to such abject submission; 
and indeed as a matter of fact our publidsts and 
public men and our newspapers, instead of being 


too humble and. submissive, are only too apt to 
indulge in very offensive talk about foreign na- 
tions. Of all the nations of the world we are the 
one that combines the greatest amount of wealth 
with the smallest ability to defend that wealth. 
Surely one does not have to read history very 
much or ponder over philosophy a great deal in 
order to realize the truth that the one certain way 
to invite disaster is to be opulent, offensive, and 
unarmed. There is utter inconsistency between 
the ideal of making this nation the foremost com- 
mercial power in the world and of disarmament 
in the face of an armed world. There is utter in- 
consistency between the ideal of making this 
nation a power for international righteousness 
and at the same time refusing to make us a power 
efficient in anything save empty treaties and 
emptier iwomises. 

I do not believe in a large standing army. 
Most emphatically I do not beUeve in milit^sm. 
Most emphatically I do not believe in any policy 
of aggression by us. But I do believe that no 
man is really fit to be the free citizen of a free 
republic tmless he is able to bear arms and at 
need to serve with efficiency in the efficient army 
of the republic. This is no new thing with me^ 
For years I have believed that the young men of 
the country should know how to use a rifle and 
should have a short period of military training 


which, while not taking them for any length of 
time from civil pursuits, would make them 
quickly capable of helping defend the country in 
case of need. When I was governor of New York, 
acting in conjunction with the administration at 
Washington under President McKinley, I secured 
the sending abroad of one of the best officers in 
the New York National Guard, Colonel William 
Gary Sanger, to study the Swiss system. As Pres- 
ident I had to devote my attention chiefly to 
getting the navy built up. But surely the sight 
of what has happened abroad ought to awaken 
our people to the need of action, not only as re- 
gards our navy but as regards our laud forces also. 
Australia has done well in this respect- But 
Switzerland has worked out a comprehensive 
scheme with practical intelligence. She has not 
only solved the question of having men ready to 
fight, but she has solved the question of having 
arms to give these men. At present England is in 
more difficulty about arms than about men, and 
some of her people when sent to the front were 
armed with hunting rifles. Our own shortcom- 
ings are far greater. Indeed, they are so lamen- 
table that it is hard to believe that our citizens 
as a whole know them. To equip half the number 
of men whom even the British now have in the 
field would tax our factories to the limit. In 
Switzerland, during the last two or three years 


of what corresponds to our high-school work the 
boy is thoroughly grotmded in the radiments of 
military training, discipline, and marksmanship. 
When he graduates he is put for some four to six 
months in the army to receive ^cactiy the training 
he would get in time of war. After that he serves 
eight days a year and in addition often joins 
with his fellows in practising at a mark. He 
keeps his rifle and accoutrements in his home and 
is responsible for their condition. Efficiency is 
the watchword of Switzerland, and not least in 
its army. At the outbreak of this terrible war 
Switzerland wa$ able to mobilize her forces in 
the comer of her territory between Prance and 
Germany as quickly as either of the great com- 
batants cotild theirs; and no one trespassed upon 
her soil. 

The Swiss training does not to any appreciable 
extent take the man away from his work. But it 
does make him markedly more efficient for his 
work. The training he gets and his short service 
with the colors render him appreciably better 
able to do whatever his job in life is, and, in ad- 
dition, benefit his health and spirits. The service 
is a holiday, and a holiday of the best because of 
the most useful type. 

There is no reason whatever why Americans 
should be unwilling or unable to do what Switzer- 
land has done. We are a far wealthier country 


than Switz^land and cotild afford without the 
slightest strain the very trifling expense and the 
trifling consumption of time rendered necessary 
by such a system. It has really nothing in com- 
mon with the universal service in the great con- 
script armies of the military powers. No man 
would be really taken out of industry. On the 
contrary, the average man would probably be 
actually benefited so far as doing his life-work 
is copcemed.- The System would be thoroughly 
democratic in its workings. No man would be 
exempted from the work and all would have to 
perform the work alike. It would be entirely 
possible to arrange that there should be a certain 
latitude as to the exact year when the four or six 
months* service was given. 

Officers, of course, would need a longer training 
than the men. This could readily be furnished 
either by allowing numbers of extra students to 
take partial or short-term courses at West Point 
or by specifying optional courses in the high 
schools, the graduates of these special courses 
being tested carefully in their field-work and be- 
ing required to give extra periods of service and 
bdng under the rigid supervision of the regular 
army. There could also be opportunities for pro- 
motion &om the ranks for any one who chose to 
take the time and the trouble to fit himself. 

The four or six months' service with the colors 


wotdd be for the most part in the open field. 
The drill hall and the parade-ground do not teach 
more than five per cent of what a soldier must 
actually know. Any man who has had any ex- 
perience with ordinary organizations of the Na- 
tional Guard when taken into camp knows that 
at first only a very limited number of the men 
have any idea of taking care of themselves and 
that the great majority suffer much from dys- 
pepsia, just because they do not know how to 
take care of themselves. The soldier needs to 
spend some months in actual campaign practice 
tmder canvas with competent instructors before 
he gets to know his duty. If, however, he has 
had previous training in the schools of such a type 
as that given in Switzerland and then has this 
actual practice, he remains for some years efficient 
with np more training than eight or ten days a 

The training must be given in large bodies. It 
is essential that men shall get accustomed to the 
policing and sanitary care of camps in which there 
are masses of soldiers. Moreover, officers and 
especially the higher officers are wholly useless in 
war time unless they are accustomed to handle 
masses of men in co-operation with one another. 

There are small sections of our population out 
of which it is possible to improvise soldiers in a 
short time. Men who are accustomed to ride 


and to shoot and to live in the open and who are 
hardy and enduring and by nattire possess the 
fighting edge akeady know most of what it is 
necessary that an infantryman or cavahyman 
should know, and they can be taught the remain- 
der in a very short time by good officers. Mor- 
gan's Virginia Riflemen, Andrew Jackson's Tennes- 
seans, Forrest's Southwestern Cavalry were all men 
of this kind; but even such men are of real use- 
only after considerable training or else if their 
leaders are bom fighters and masters of men. 
Such leaders are rare. The ordinary dweller in civ- 
ilization has to be taught to shoot, to walk (or ride 
if he is in the cavalry), to cook for himself, to 
make himself comfortable in the open, and to take 
care of his feet and his health generally. Artil- 
lerymen and engineers need long special training. 
It may well be that the Swiss on an average 
can be made into good troops quicker than our 
own men; but most assuredly there would be 
numbers of Americans who would not be behind 
the Swiss in such a matter. A body of volunteer^ 
of the kind I am describing would of course not 
be as good as a body of regulars of the same size, 
but they would be immeasurably better than 
the average soldiers produced by any system we 
now have or ever have had in connection witii 
our militia. Our regular army would be strength- 
ened by them at the very beginning and would be 


set free in its entirety for immediate aggressive 
action; and in addition a levy in mass of the 
young men of the rig^t age would mean that two 
or three million troops were put into the field, 
who, although not as good as regulars, would at 
once be available in ntmibers sufficient to over- 
whehn any expeditionary force which it would be 
possible for any military power to send to our 
shores. The existence of such a force would ren- 
der the inmiediate taking of cities like San Fran- 
cisco, New York, or Boston an impossibility and 
would free us from all danger from sudden raids 
and make it impossible even for an army-corps to 
land with any prospect of success. 

Our people are so entirely tmused to things 
military that it is probably difficult for the aver- 
age man to get any dear idea of our shortcomings. 
Unlike what is true in the military nations of the 
Old World, here the ordinary citizen takes no 
interest in the working of our War Department 
in time of peace. No President gains the slightest 
credit for himself by paying attention to it. 
Then when a crisis comes and the War Depart- 
ment breaks down, instead of the people accept- 
ing what has happened with htmiility as due to 
their own fault during the previous two or three 
decades, there is a roar of wrath against the un- 
fortunate man who happens to be in office at the 
time. There was such a roar of wrath against 


Secretary Alger in the Spanish War. Now, as a 
matter of fact, ninety per cent of our short- 
comings when the war broke out with Spain 
could not have been remedied by any action on 
the part of the Secretary of War. They were due 
to what had been done ever since the close of the 
Civil War. 

We were utterly tmprepared. There had been 
no real manoeuvring of so much as a brigade 
and very rarely had any of our generals com- 
manded even a good-sized regiment in the field. 
The enlisted men and the junior officers of the 
regular army were good. Most of the officers 
above the rank of captain were nearly worthless. 
There were striking exceptions of course, but, 
taking the average, I really believe that it would 
have been on the whole to the advantage of our 
army in 1898 if all the regular officers above 
the rank of captain had been retired and if all 
the captains who were unfit to be placed in the 
higher positions had also been retired. The 
lieutenants were good. The lack of administra- 
tive skill was even more marked than the lack of 
military skill. No one who saw the congestion of 
trains, supplies, animals, and men at Tampa will 
ever forget the impression of helpless confusion 
that it gave him. The volunteer forces included 
some organizations and multitudes of individuals 
offering first-class material. But, as a whole, the 


volunteer army would have been utterly helpless 
against any efficient regular force at the outset of 
the 1898 war, probably almost as inefficient as 
were the two armies which fought one another 
at Bull Run in 1861. Even the efficiency of the 
regular army itself was such merely by comparison 
with the volunteers. I do not believe that any 
army in the world offered finer material than was 
offered by the junior officers and enlisted men of 
the regular army which disembarked on Cuban 
soil in June, 1898; and by the end of the next 
two weeks probably the average individual in- 
fantry or cavalry organization therein was at least 
as good as the average organization of the same 
size in an Old- World army. But taking the army 
as a whole and considering its management from 
the time it began to assemble at Tampa until 
the surrender of Santiago, I seriously doubt if it 
was as efficient as a really good Etiropean or Jap- 
anese army of half the size. Since then we have 
made considerable progress. Our little army of 
occupation that went to Cuba at the time of the 
revolution in Cuba ten years ago was thoroughly 
well handled and did at least as well as any foreign 
force of the same size could have done. But it 
did not include ten thousand men, that is, it did 
not include as many men as the smallest military 
power in Europe would assemble any day for 


This is no new thing in our history. If only 
we were willing to leam from our defeats and 
failures instead of pajring heed purely to our suc- 
cesses, we would realize that what I have above 
described is one of the common phases of our his- 
tory. In the War of 1812, at the outset of the 
struggle, American forces were repeatedly beaten, 
as at Niagara and Bladensburg, by an enemy one 
half or one quarter the strength of the American 
army engaged. Yet two years later these same 
American troops on the northern frontier, when 
trained and commanded by Brown, Scott, and 
Ripley, proved able to do what the finest troops 
of Napoleon were tmable to do, that is, meet the 
British regulars on equal terms in the open; and 
the Tennessee backwoodsmen and Louisiana 
volunteers, when mastered and controlled by the 
iron will and warlike genius of Andrew Jackson, 
performed at New Orleans a really great feat. 
During the year 181 2 the American soldiers on 
shore suffered shameful and discreditable defeats, 
and yet their own brothers at sea won equally 
striking victories, and this because the men on 
shore were utterly unprepared and because the 
men at sea had been thoroughly trained and 
drilled long in advance. 

Exactly the same lessons are taught by the 
histories of other nations. When, during the 
Napoleoxiic wars, a small force of veteran French 


soldiers landed in Ireland they defeated without 
an eJSEort five times their number of British and 
Irish troops at Castlebar. Yet the men whom 
they thtis drove in wild flight were the own brothers 
of and often the very same men who a few years 
later, under Wellington, proved an overmatch for 
the flower of the French forces. The nation that 
waits until the crisis is upon it before taking 
measures for its own safety pays heavy toll in 
thef blood of its best and its bravest and in bitter 
shame and humiliation. Small is the comfort it 
can then take from the memory of the times 
when the noisy and feeble folk in its own ranks 
cried ''Peace, peace," without taking one practi- 
cal step to secure peace. 

We can never follow out a^ worthy national 
policy, we can never be of benefit to others or to 
ourselves, imless we keep steadily in. view as our 
ideal that of the just man armed, the man who is 
fearless, self-reliant, ready, because he has pre- 
pared himself for possible contingencies; the man 
who is scornful alike of those who would advise 
him to do wrong and of those who would advise 
him tamely to suffer wrong. The great war now 
being waged in Europe and the fact that no neu- 
tral nation has ventured to make even the small- 
est effort to alleviate^ or even to protest against 

1 The much advertised sending of food and supplies to Belgium has 
been of most benefit to the German conquerors of Belgium. They 


the wrongs that have been done show with lamen- 
table deamess that all the peace congresses of the 
past fifteen years bave accomplished precisely 
and exactly nothing so far as any great crisis is 
concerned. Fundamentally this is because they 
have confined themselves to mere words, seem- 
ingly without realizing that mere words are 
utterly useless xmless translated into deeds and 
that an otmce of promise which is accompanied by 
provision for a similar ounce of eflFective perform- 
ance is worth at least a ton of promise as to which 
no effective method of performance is provided. 
Furthermore, a very serious blunder has been 
to treat peace as the end instead of righteousness 
as the end. The greatest soldier-patriots of his- 
tory, Timoleon, John Ham3en, Andreas Hofer, 
Koemer, the great patriot-statesman-soldiers Uke 
Washington, the great patriot-statesmen like Lin- 
coln whose achievements for good depended upon 
the use of soldiers, have all achieved their im- 
mortal daim to the gratitude of mankind by what 

have taken the money and food of the Belgians and permitted the 
Belgians to be supported by outsiders. Of course, it was far better 
to send them food, even imder such conditions, than to let them 
starve; but the professional pacificists would do well to ponder the 
fact that if the neutral nations had been willing to prevent the in- 
vasion of Belgium, which could only be done by willingness and 
ability to use force, they would by this act of "war" have prevented 
more misery and suffering to innocent men, women, and children 
than the organized charity of all the '^ peaceful" nations of the world 
can now remove. 


they did in just war. To condemn war in terms 
which include the wars these men waged or took 
part in precisely as they include the most wicked 
and unjust wars of history is to serve the devil 
and not God. 

Again, these peace people have persistently and 
resolutely blinked facts. One of the peace con- 
gresses sat in New York at the very time that 
the feeling in California about the Japanese ques- 
tion gravely threatened the good relations be- 
tween ourselves and the great empire of Japan. 
The only thing which at the moment could prac- 
tically be done for the cause of peace was to 
secure some proper solution of the question at 
issue between ourselves and Japan. But this rep- 
resented real effort, real thought. The peace 
congress paid not the slightest serious attention 
to the matter and instead devoted itself te- listen- 
ing to speeches which f avpred the abolition of the 
United States navy and even in one case the 
prohibiting the use of tin soldiers in nurseries be- 
cause of the militaristic effect on the minds of the 
little boys and girls who played with them ! 

Ex-President Taft has recently said that it is 
hysterical to endeavor to prepare against war; 
and he at the same time explained that the only 
real possibility of war was to be fotmd *'in the 
wanton, reckless, wicked willingness on the part 
of a narrow section of the country to gratify racial 


prejudice and class hatred by flagrant breach of 
treaty right in the form of state law." This 
characterisation is, of course, aimed at the State 
of California for its action toward the Japanese. 
If — ^which may Heaven forfend — any trouble 
comes because of the action of California toward 
the Japanese, a prime factor in producing it will 
be the treaty negotiated four years ago with 
Japan; and no clearer illustration can be given of 
the mischief that comes to our people from the 
habit our public men have contracted of getting 
cheap applause for themselves by making treaties 
which they know to be shams, which they know 
cannot be observed. The result of such action is 
that there is one set of real facts, those that 
actually exist and must be reckoned with, and 
another set of make-believe facts which do not 
exist except on pieces of paper or in after-dinner 
si)eeches, which are known to be false but which 
serve to deceive well-meaning pacificists. Pour 
years ago there was in existence a long-standing 
treaty with Japan under which we reserved the 
right to keep out Japanese laborers. Every man 
of any knowledge whatever of conditions on the 
Pacific Slope, and, indeed, generally throughout 
this cotmtry, knew, and knows now, that any im- 
migration in mass to this cotmtry of the Japanese, 
whether the immigrants be industrial laborers or 
men whose labor takes the form of agricultural 


work or even the form of small shopkeeping, was 
and is absolutely certain to produce trouble of 
the most dangerous kind. The then administra- 
tion entered on a course of conduct as regards 
Manchuria which not only deeply offended the 
Japanese but actually achieved the result of unit- 
ing the Russians and Japanese against us. To 
make amends for this serious blunder the adminis- 
tration committed the far worse blunder of en- 
deavoring to placate Japanese opinion by the 
negotiation of a new treaty in which our right to 
exclude Japanese laborers, that is, to prevent 
Japanese immigration in mass, was abandoned. 
The extraordinary and lamentable fact in the 
matter was that the California senators acquiesced 
in the treaty. Apparently they took the view, 
which so many of our public men do take and 
which they are encouraged to take by the un- 
wisdom of those who demand impossible treaties, 
that they were perfectly willing to please some 
people by passing the treaty because, if necessary, 
the opponents of the treaty could at any time be 
placated by its violation. One item in securing 
their support was the statement by the then ad- 
ministration that the Japanese authorities had 
said that they would promise under a "gentle- 
men's agreement** to keep the immigrants out if 
only they were by treaty given the right to let 
them in. Under the preceding treaty, dtuing 



my administration, the Japanese govenmient had 
made and had in good faith kept such an agree- 
ment, the agreement being that as long as the 
Japanese government itself kept out Japanese 
immigrants and thereby relieved us of the neces- 
sity of passing any law to exclude them, no such 
law would be passed. Apparently the next ad- 
ministration did not perceive the fathomless dif- 
ference between retaining the power to enact a 
law which was not enacted as long as no necessity 
for enacting it arose, and abandoning the power, 
surrendering the right, and trusting that *the neces- 
sity to exercise it would not arise. 

I immensely admire and respect the Japanese 
people. I prize their good-will. I am proud of 
my personal relations with some of their leading 
men. Fifty years ago there^was no possible com- 
munity between the Japanese and ourselves. 
The events of the last fifty years have been so 
extraordinary that now Japanese statesmen, gen- 
erals, artists, writers, scientific men, business 
men, can meet our corresponding men on terms 
of entire equality. I am forttmate enough to 
have a number of Japanese friends. I value their 
friendship. They and I meet on a footing of 
absolute equality, socially, politically, and in 
every other way. I respect and regard them pre- 
cisely as in the case of my German and Russian, 
French and English friends. But there is no use 

■ / 


blinking the truth because it is unpleasant. As yet 
the differences between the Japanese who work 
with their hands and the .Americans who work 
with their hands are such that it is absolutely 
impossible for them, when brought into contact 
with one another in great numbers, to get on. 
Japan would not permit any immigration in mass 
of our people into her territory, and it is wholly 
inadvisable that there should be such immi^- 
gration of her people into our territory. This 
is not because either side is inferior to the other 
but because they are different. As a matter of 
fact, these differences are sometimes in favor of 
the Japanese and sometimes in favor of the 
Americans. But they are so marked that at this 
time, whatever may be the case in the future, 
friction and trouble are certain to come if there 
is any immigration in mass of Japanese into this 
country, exactly as friction and trouble have 
actually come in British Columbia from this 
cause, and have been prevented from coming in 
Australia only by the most rigid exclusion laws. 
Under these conditions the way to avoid trouble 
is not by making believe that things which are 
not so are so but by courteously and firmly 
facing the situation. The two nations shotdd be 
given absolutely reciprocal treatment. Students, 
statesmen, publicists, scientific men, all travellers, 
whether for business or pleasure, and all men 


engaged in international business, whether Japa- 
nese or American, should have absolute right of 
entry into one another's countries and should be 
treated with the highest consideration while 
therein, but no settlement in mass shotild be per- 
mitted of the people of either country in the other 
country. All travelling and sojourning by the 
people of either country in the other country 
should be encouraged, but there should be no 
immigration of workers to, no settlement in, either 
country by the people of the other. I advocate 
this solution, which for years I have advocated, 
because I am not merely a friend but an intense 
adnoirer of Japan, because I am most anxious 
that America should learn from Japan the great 
amount that Japan can teach us and because I 
wish to work for the best possible feeling between 
the two countries. Each country has interests 
in the Pacific which can best be served by their 
cordial co-operation on a footing of frank and 
friendly equality; and in eastern Asiatic waters 
the interest and therefore the proper dominance 
of Japan are and will be greater than those of any 
other nation. If such a plan as that above ad- 
vocated were once adopted by both our nations 
all sources of friction between the two countries 
would vanish at once. Ultimately I have no ques- 
tion that all restrictions of movement from one 
country to the other could be dispensed with. 


But to attempt to dispense with them in our day 
and our generation will fail ; and even worse f ^- 
ure will attend the attempt to make believe to 
dispense with them while not doing so. 

It is eminently necessary that the United States 
should in good faith observe its treaties, and it is 
therefore eminently necessary not to pass treaties 
which it is absolutely certain will not be obeyed, 
and which themselves provoke disobedience to 
them. The height of folly, of course, is to pass 
treaties which will not be obeyed and the disre- 
gard of which may cause the gravest possible 
trouble, even war, and at the same time to refuse 
to prepare for war and to pass other foolish treaties 
calculated to lure our people into the belief that 
there will never be war. 

X advocate that our preparedness take such 
shape as to fit us to resist aggression, not to en- 
courage us in aggression. I advocate prepared- 
ness that will enable us to defend otu: own shores 
and to defend the Panama Canal and Hawaii 
and Alaska, and prevent the seizure of territory > 
at the expense of any commonwealth of the 
western hemisphere by any military power of 
the Old World. I advocate this bdng done in the 
most democratic manner possible. We Americans 
do not realize how fundamentally democratic our 
army really is. When I served in Cuba it was 
under General Sam Yotmg and alongside of Gen- 



eral Adna ChaSee. Both had entered the Amer- 
ican army as enlisted men in the Civil War. 
Later, as President, I made both of them in suc- 
cession lieutenant-generals and commanders of 
the army. On the occasion when General Chaflfee 
was to appear at the White. House for the first 
time as lieutenant-general, General Yotmg sent 
him his own starred shoulder-straps with a little 
note saying that they were from "Private Young, 
'6i, to Private ChafiEee, '6i." Both of the fine 
old fellows represented the best tj^ of citizen- 
soldier. Each was simply and sincerely devoted 
to peace and justice. Each was incapable of 
advocating our doing wrong to others. Neither 
could have understood willingness on the part of 
any American to see the United States submit 
tamely to insult or injury. Both typified the 
attitude that we Americans should take in otu* 
dealings with foreign countries. 



THE course of the present administration in 
foreign affairs has now and then combined 
officiously offensive action toward foreign 
powers with tame submission to wrong-doing by 
foreign powers. As a nation we have refused to 
do our duty to others and yet we have at times 
tamely submitted to wrong at the hands of others. 
This has been notably true of our conduct in 
Mexico; and we have come perilously near such 
conduct in the case of Japan. It is also true of 
our activities as regards the European war. We 
failed to act in accordance with our obligations 
as a signatory power to the Hague treaties. In 
addition to the capital crime committed against 
Belgium we have seen outrage after outrage jyer- 
petrated in violation of the Hague conventions, 
and yet the administration has never ventured 
so much as a protest. It has even at times, and 
with wavering and vacillation, adopted poUcies 
unjust to one or the other of the two sets of com- 
batants. But it has immediately abandoned 
these policies when the combatants in violent and 



improper fashion overrode them; and it has sub- 
mitted with such tame servility to whateyer the 
warring nations have dictated that in effect we 
see, as Theodore Woolsey, the expert on interna- 
tional law, has pointed out, the American govern- 
ment protecting belligerent interests abroad at 
the expense of neutral interests both at home and 
abroad. Not since the Napoleonic wars have 
belligerents acted with such high-handed disre- 
gard of the rights of neutrals. Germany was the 
first and greatest offender; and when we failed 
to protest in her case the administration perhaps 
felt ashamed to protest, felt that it was estopped 
from protesting, in other cases. England in its 
turn has violated our neutrality rights, and while 
exercising both force and ingenuity in making 
this violation effective has protested as if she 
herself were the injured party. As a matter of 
fact, England and France should note that in 
view of their command of the seas our war trade 
is of such value to them that certain congressmen, 
whose interest in Germany surpasses their in- 
terest in the United States, have sought by law 
totally to prohibit it. This proposed — and thor- 
oughly improper — ^action is a stifficient answer to 
the charges of the Allies, and should remind them 
how ill they requite the service rendered by our 
merchants when they seek to block all our inter- 
course with other nations. They, however, are 


only to be blamed for short-sightedness; there 
is no reason why they should pay heed to American 
interests. But the administration should represent 
American interests; it should see that while we 
perform our duties as neutrals we should be pro- 
tected in otir rights as neutrals; and one of these 
rights is the trade in contraband. To prohibit 
this is to take part in the war for the benefit of 
one belligerent at the expense of another and to 
our own cost. 

Of course it would be an ignoble action on 
our part after having conspicuously failed to pro- 
test against the violation of Belgian neutrality to 
show oiu*selves overeager to protest against com- 
paratively insignificant violations of our own 
neutral rights. But we should never have put 
ourselves in such a position as to make insistence 
on our own rights seem disregard for the rights of 
others. The proper cotu'se for us to pursue was, 
on the one hand, scrupulously to see that we did 
not so act as to injure any contending nation, 
unless required to do so in the name of morality 
and of otu* solemn treaty obligations, and also 
fearlessly to act on behalf of other nations which 
were wronged, as required by these treaty obli- 
gations; and, on the other hand, with courteous 
firmness to warn any nation which, for instance, 
seized or searched our ships against the accepted 
rules of international conduct that this we could 


not permit and that such a course should not be 
persevered in by any nation which desired our 
good-will. I believe I speak for at least a con- 
siderable portion of our people when I say that we 
wish to make it evident that we feel sincere good- 
will toward all nations; that any action we take 
against any nation is taken with the greatest re- 
luctance and only because the wrong-doing of 
that nation imposes a distinct, although painful, 
duty upon us; and yet that we do not intend our- 
selves to submit to wrong-doing from any nation. 
Until an efficient world league for peace is in 
more than mere process of formation the United 
States must depend upon itself for protection 
where its vital interests are concerned. All the 
youth of the nation should be trained in warlike 
xeroses and in the use of arms — as well as in the 
indispensable virtues of courage, self-restraint, and 
endurance — so as to be fit for national defense. 
But the right arm of the nation must be its navy. 
Our navy is our most efficient peacemaker. In 
order to use the navy effectively we should clearly 
define to ourselves the policy we intend to follow 
and the limits over which we expect our power to 
extend. Our own coasts, Alaska, Hawaii, and the 
Panama Canal and its approaches should repre- 
sent the sphere in which we should expect to be 
able, single-handed, to meet and master any op- 
ponent from overseas. 


I exclude the Philippines. This is because I 
fed that the present administration has definitely 
committed us to a course of action which will 
make the early and complete severance of the 
Philippines from us not merely desirable but 
necessary. I have never felt that the Philip- 
pines were of any special use to us. But I have 
felt that we had a great task to perform there 
and that a great nation is benefited by doing a 
great task. It was our bounden duty to work 
primarily for the interests of the Filipinos; but 
it was also our bounden duty, inasmuch as the 
entire responsibility lay upon us, to consult our 
own judgment and not theirs in finally deciding 
what was to be done. It was our duty to govern 
the islands or to get out of the islands. It was 
most certainly not our duty to take the respon- 
sibility of staying in the islands without governing 
them. Still less was it — or is it — our duty to 
enter into joint arrangements with other powers 
about the islands; arrangements of confused re- 
sponsibility and divided power of the kind sure 
to cause mischief. I had hoped that we would 
continue to govern the islands until we were 
certain that they were able to govern themselves 
in such fashion as to do justice to other nations 
and to repel injustice committed on them by 
other nations. To substitute for such govern- 
ment by ourselves either a govemm«it by the 



Filipinos with us guaranteeing them against out- 
siders, or a joint guarantee between us and out- 
siders, would be folly. It is eminently desirable 
to guarantee the neutrality of small civilized 
nations which have a high social and cultural 
status and which are so advanced that they do 
not fall into disorder or commit wrong-doing on 
others. But it is eminently tmdesirable to guar- 
antee the neutrality or sovereignty of an inherently 
weak nation which is impotent to preserve order 
at home, to repel assaults from abroad, or to re- 
frain from doing wrong to outsiders. It is even 
more tmdesirable to give such a guarantee with 
no intention of making it really eflEective. That 
this is precisely what the present administration 
would be delighted to do has been shown by its 
refusal to live up to its Hague promises at the 
very time that it was making similar new inter- 
national promises by the batch. To enter into a 
joint guarantee of neutrality which in emergencies 
can only be rendered effective by force of arms 
is to incur a serious responsibility which ought to 
be undertaken in a serious spirit. ' To enter into 
it with no intention of using force, or of preparing 
force, in order at need to make it effective, repre- 
sents the kind of silliness which is worse than 

Above all, we should keep our promises. The 
present administration was elected on the out- 


right pledge of giving the Filipinos independence. 
Apparently its course in the Philippines has pro- 
ce(^ed upon the theory that the Filipinos are now 
fit to govern themselves. Whatever may be our 
personal and individual beliefs in this matter, we 
ought not as a nation to break faith or even to 
seem to break faith. I hope therefore that the 
Filipinos will be given their independence at an 
early date and without any guarantee from us 
which might in any way hamper our f uttu^ action 
or commit us to sta3ring on the Asiatic coast. I 
do not believe we should keep any foothold what- 
ever in the Philippines. Any kind of position by 
us in the Philippines merely results in making 
them our heel of Achilles if we are attacked by a 
foreign power. They can be of no compensating 
benefit to us. If we were to retain complete con- 
trol over them and to continue the course of ac- 
tion which in the past sixteen years has resulted 
in such immeasurable benefit for them^ then I 
should feel that it was our duty to stay and work 
for them in spite of the expense incurred by us 
and the risk we thereby ran. But inasmuch as 
we have now promised to leave them and as we 
are now abandoning our power to work efficiently 
for and in them, I do not feel that we are war- 
ranted in staying in the islands in an equivocal 
position, thereby incurring great risk to ourselves 
without conferring any real compensating advan- 


tage, of a kind which we are botind to take into 
account, on the Filipinos themselves. If the 
Filipinos are entitled to independence then we are 
entitled to be freed from all the responsibility and 
risk which our presence in the Lands 4ails 
upon us. 

The great nations of southernmost South Amer- 
ica, Brazil, the Argentine, and Chile are now so 
far advanced in stability and power that there is 
no longer any need of applying the ^onroe Doc- 
trine as far as they are concerned; and this also 
relieves us as regards Uruguay and Paraguay 
the former of which is well advanced and neither 
of which has any interests with which we need 
particularly concern ourselves. As regards all 
these powers, therefore, we now have no duty save 
that doubtless if they got into diflficulties and de- 
sired our aid we would gladly extend it, just as, 
for instance, we would to Australia and Canada. 
But we can now proceed on the assimiption that 
they are able to help themselves and that any 
help we should be required to give would be given 
by us as an auxiliary rather than as a principal. 

Our naval problem, therefore, is primarily to 
provide for the protection of our own coasts and 
for the protection and policing of Hawaii, Alaska, 
and the Panama Canal and its approaches. This 
offers a definite problem which should be solved 
by our naval men. It is for them, having in view 


the lessons taught by this war, to say what is the 
exact type of fleet we reqtdre, the number and 
kind of submarines, of destroyers, of mines, and of 
air-ships to be used against hostile fleets, in ad- 
dition to the cruisers and great fighting craft 
which must remain the backbone of the navy. 
Civilians may be competent to pa^ on the merits 
of the plans suggested by the naval men, but it 
is the naval men themselves who must make and 
submit the plans in detail. Lay opinion, how- 
ever, should keep certain elementary facts steadily 
in mind. 

The navy must primarily be used for offensive 
purposes. Ports, not the navy, are to be used 
for defense. The only permanently efficient type 
of defensive is the offensive. A portion, and a 
very important portion, of our naval strength 
mtist be used with our own coast ordinarily as a 
base, its striking radius being only a few score 
miles, or a couple of himdred at the outside. 
The events of -this war have shown that sub- 
marines can play a tremendous part. We should 
develop our force of submarines and train the 
officers and crews who have charge of them to 
the highest pitch of efficiency — ^for they will be 
useless in time of war tmless those aboard them 
have been trained in time of peace. These sub- 
marines, when used in connection with destroy- 
ers and with air-ships, can undoubtedly serve to 


minimize the danger of successful attack on our 
own shores. But the prime lesson of the war, as 
regards the navy, is that the nation with a power- 
ftil seagoing navy, although it may suffer much 
annoyance and loss, yet is able on the whole to 
take the offensive and do great damage to a nation 
witJi a less powerful navy. Great Britain's naval 
superiority over Germany has enabled her com- 
pletely to paralyze aU Germany's sea commerce 
and to prevent goods from entering her ports. 
What is far more important, it has enabled the 
British to land two or three hundred thousand 
men to aid the French, and has enabled Canada and 
Australia to send a htmdred thousand men from 
the opposite ends of the earth to Great Britain. 
K Germany had had the more powerful navy 
England wotdd now have suffered the fate of 

The capital work done by the German cruis- 
ers in the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Indian 
Oceans shows how much can be accomplished in 
the way of hurting and damaging an enemy by 
even the weaker power if it possesses fine ships, 
well handled, able to operate thousands of miles 
from their own base. We must not fail to recog- 
nize this. Neither must we fail heartily and fully 
to recognize the capital importance of submarines 
as well as air-ships, torpedo-boat destroyers, and 
mines, as proved by the events of the last three 


months. But nothing that has yet occurred war- 
rants us in feeling that we can afford to ease up 
in our programme of building battle-ships and 
cruisers, especially the former. The German sub- 
marines have done wonderfully in this war; their 
cruisers have done gallantly. But so far as Great 
Britain is concerned the vital and essential fea- 
ture has been the fact that her great battle fleet 
has kept the German fleet immured in its own home 
ports, has protected Britain from invasion, and 
has enabled her land strength to be used to its 
utmost capacity beside the armies of France and 
Belgium. If the men who for years have clam- 
ored against Britain's being prepared had had 
their way, if Britain dtuing the last quarter of a 
century had failed to continue the upbuilding of 
her navy, if the English statesmen corresponding 
to President Wilson and Mr. Bryan had seen their 
ideas triumph, England would now be off the map 
as a great power and the British Empire would 
have dissolved, while London, Liverpool, and 
Birmingham would be in the condition of Antwerp 
and Brussels. 

The efficiency of the German personnel at sea 
has been no less remarkable than the efficiency 
of the German jyersonnel on land. This is due 
partly to the spirit of the nation and partly to 
what is itsejf a consequence of that spirit, the 
careful training of the navy during peace under 


the conditions of actual service. When, early in 
1909, our battle fleet returned from its sixteen 
months' voyage around the world there was no 
navy in the world which, size for size, ship for 
ship, and squadron for squadron, stood at a higher 
pitch of efficiency. We blind ourselves to the 
truth if we believe that the same is true now. 
During the last twenty months, ever since Sec- 
retary Meyer left the Navy Department, there 
has been in our navy a great falling off relatively 
to other nations. It was quite impossible to 
avoid this while our national affairs were handled 
as they have recently been handled. The Presi- 
dent who intrusts the Departments of State and 
the Navy to gentlemen like Messrs. Bryan and 
Daniels deliberately invites disaster, in the event 
of serious compUcatious with a formidable foreign 
opponent. On the whole, there is no dass of our 
citizens, big or small, who so emphatically de- 
serve well of the cotmtry as the officers and the 
enlisted men of the army and navy. No navy in 
the world has such fine stuff out of which to make 
man-of-war's men. But they must be heartily 
backed up, heartily supported, and sedulously 
trained. They must be treated well, and, above 
all, they must be treated so as to encourage the 
best among them by sharply discriminating 
against the worst. The utmost possible efficiency 
should be demanded of them. They are emphat- 


ically and in every sense of the word men; and 
real men resent with impatient contempt a policy 
under which less than their best is demanded. 
The finest material is utterly worthless without 
the best personnel. In such a highly specialized 
service as the navy constant training of a purely 
military type is an absolute necessity. At pres- 
ent our navy is lamentably short in many differ- 
ent material directions. There is actually but one 
torpedo for each torpedo tube. It seems incredible 
that such can be the case; yet it is the case. We 
are many thousands of men short in our en- 
listments. We are lamentably short in certain 
types of vessel. There is grave doubt as to the 
eflBdency of many of our submarines and destroy- 
ers. But the shortcomings in our training are , 
even more lamentable. To keep the navy cruis- 
ing near Vera Cruz and in Mexican waters, 
without manoeuvring, invites rapid deteriora- 
tion. For nearly two years there has been no 
fleet manoeuvring; and this fact by itself prob- 
ably means a twenty-five per cent loss of efficiency. 
During the same periods most of the ships have 
not even had division gun practice. Not only 
should our navy be as large as our position and 
interest demand but it should be kept continu- 
ally at the highest point of efficiency and should 
never be used save for its own appropriate mili- 
tary purposes. Of this elementary fact the pres- 


ent administration seems to be completely igno- 

President Wilson and Secretary Daniels assert 
that our navy is in efficient shape. Admiral 
Fiske's testimony is conclusive to the contrary, 
although it was very cautiously given, as is 
but natural when a naval officer, if he tells the 
whole truth, must state what is unpleasant for 
his superiors to hear. Other naval officers have 
pointed out our deficiencies, and the newspapers 
state that some of them have been reprimanded 
for so doing. But there is no need for their testi- 
mony. There is one adndtted fact which is ab- 
solutely conclusive in the matter. There has been 
no fleet manoeuvring during the past twenty-two 
months. In spite of fleet manoeuvring the navy 
may be unprepared. But it is an absolute cer- 
tainty that without fleet manoeuvring it cannot 
possibly be prepared. In the unimportant do- 
main of sport there is not a man who goes to see 
the annual football game between Harvard and 
Yale who would not promptly cancel his ticket if 
either university should propose to put into the 
field a team which, no matter how good the players 
were individually, had not been practised as a 
team during the preceding sixty days. If in such 
event the president of either imiversity or the 
coach of the team should announce that in spite 
of never having had any team practice the team 


was nevertheless in first-dass condition, there is 
literally no intelligent follower of the game who 
would regard the utterance as serious. Why 
should President Wilson and Secretary Daniels 
expect the American public to show less intelli- 
gence as regards the vital matter of our navy 
than they do as regards a mere sport, a mere 
play? For twenty-two months there has been 
no fleet manoeuvring. Since in the daily press, 
early in November, I, with emphasis, called atten- 
tion to this fact Mr. Daniels has announced that 
shortly manoeuvring will take place; and of course 
the failure to manoeuvre for nearly two years 
has been due less to Mr. Daniels than to Presi- 
dent Wilson's futile and mischievous Mexican 
policy and his entire ignorance of the needs of 
the navy. I am glad that the administration 
has tard^y waked up to the necessity of taking 
some steps to make the navy efficient, and if the 
President and the Secretary of the Navy bring 
forth fruits meet for repentance, I will most 
heartily acknowledge the fact — ^just as it has given 
me the utmost pleasure to praise and support 
President Wilson's Secretary of War, Mr. Gar- 
rison. But misstatements as to actual conditions 
make but a poor preparation for the work of 
remedying these conditions, and President Wilson 
and Secretary Daniels try to conceal from the 
people our ominous naval shortcomings. The 


shortcomings are fax-reaching, alike in material, 
organization, and practical training. The navy 
is absolutely unprepared; its efficiency has been 
terribly reduced under and because of the action 
of President Wilson and Secretary Daniels. Let 
them realize this fact and do all they can to 
remedy the wrong they have committed. Let 
Congress realize its own shortcomings. Far- 
reaching and thoroughgoing treatment, continued 
for a period of at least two and in all probabil- 
ity three years, is needed if the navy is to be 
placed on an equality, unit for unit, no less 
than in the mass, with the navies of England, 
Germany, and Japan. In the present war the 
deeds of the Emden, of the German submarines, 
of Von Spec's squadron, have shown not merely 
efficiency but heroism; and the navies of Great 
Britain and Japan have been handled in masterly 
manner. Have the countrjrmen of Farragut, of 
Ctishing, Buchanan, Winslow, and Semmes, of 
Decatur, Hull, Perry, and MacDonough, lost their 
address and courage, and are they willing to sink 
below the standard set by their forefathers ? 

It has been said that the United States never 
learns by exi)erience but only by disaster. Such 
method of education may at times prove costly. 
The slothful or short-sighted citizens who are 
now misled by the cries of the ultrapadfidsts 
would do well to remember events connected with 


the outbreak of the war with Spain. I was then 
Assist€int Secretary of the Navy. At one bound 
our people passed from a condition of smug con- 
fidence that war never could occur (a smug pon- 
fidence just as great as any we feel at present) 
to a condition of utterly unreasoning panic over 
what might be done to tis by a very weak an- 
tagonist. One governor of a seaboard State an- 
nounced that none of the National Guard regi- 
ments would be allowed to respond to the call of 
the President because they would be needed to 
prevent a Spanish invasion of that State — ^the 
Spaniards being about as likely to make such 
an invasion as we were to invade Timbuctoo or 
Turkestan. One congressman besought me to 
send a battle-ship to protect Jekyll Island, off the 
coast of Georgia. Another congressman asked 
me to send a battle-ship to protect a summet* 
colony which centred around -a large Atlantic- 
coast hotel in Connecticut. In my own neigh- 
borhood on Long Island clauses were gravely in- 
serted into the leases of property to the eflfect 
that if the Spaniards destroyed the property the 
leases should terminate. Chambers of commerce, 
boards of trade, mtmicipal authorities, leading 
business men, from one end of the coimtry to the 
other, hysterically demanded, each of them, that 
a ship should be stationed to defend some par- 
ticular locality; the theory being that ovir navy 


shotdd be strung along both seacoasts, each ship 
by itself, in a purely defensive attitude — ^thereby 
making certain that even the Spanish navy could 
pick them all up in detail. One railway president 
came to protest to me against the choice of Tampa 
as a point of embarkation for oiu* troops, on the 
ground that, his railway was entitled to its share 
of the profit of transporting troops and munitions 
of war and that his railway went to New Orleans. 
The very senators and congressmen who had done 
everjrthing in their power to prevent , the building 
up and the efficient training of the navy screamed 
and shrieked loudest to have the navy diverted 
from its proper purpose and used to protect im- 
important seaports. Siu-ely oiu* congressmen and, 
above all, our people need to learn that in time of 
crisis peace treaties are worthless, and the ultra- 
pacificists of both sexes merely a burden on and a 
detriment to the country as a whole ; that the only 
permanently useful defensive is the offensive, and 
that the navy is properly the offensive weapon of 
the nation. 

The navy of the United States is the right 
arm of the United States and is emphatically the 
peacemaker. Woe to our coimtry if we permit 
that right arm to become palsied or even to be- 
come flabby and inefficient ! 



MILITARY preparedness meets two needs. 
In the first place, it is a partial insur- 
ance against war. In the next place, it is 
a partial guarantee that if war comes the country 
will certainly escape dishonor and will probably 
escape material loss. 

The question of preparedness cannot be con- 
sidered at all until we get certain things clearly in 
our minds. Right thinking, wholesome thinking, 
is essential as a preliminary to sound national 
action. Until our people understand the folly of 
certain of the arguments advanced against the 
action this nation needs, it is, of course, impossible 
to expect them to take such action. 

The first thing to understand is the fact that 
preparedness for war does not always insure 
peace but that it very greatly increases the chances 
of securing peace. Foolish people point out na- 
tions which, in spite of preparedness for war, 
have seen war come upon them, and then exclaim 
that preparedness against war is of no use. Such 
an argument is precisely like saying that the ex- 

. 174 


istence of destructive fires in great cities shows 
that there is no use in having a fire depart- 
ment. A fire department, which means prepared- 
ness against fire, does not prevent occasional 
destructive fires, but it does greatly diminish and 
may completely minimize the chances for whole- 
sale destruction by fire. Nations that are pre- 
pared for war occasionally suffer from it; but if 
they are unprepared for it they suffer far more 
often and far more radically. 

Fifty years ago China, Korea, and Japan were 
in substantially the same stage of culture and 
civilization. Japan, whose statesmen had vision 
and whose people had the fighting edge, began a 
cotirse of military preparedness, and the other two 
nations (one of them in natural resources immea- 
surably superior to Japan) remained unprepared. 
In consequence, Japan has immensely increased 
her power and standing and is wholly free from 
all danger of miUtary invasi6n. Korea on the 
contrary, having first been dominated by Russia 
has now been conquered by Japan. China has 
been partially dismembered; one half of her terri- 
tories are now subject to the dominion of foreign 
nations, which have time and again waged war 
between themselves on these territories, and her 
remaining territory is kept by her purely because 
these foreign nations are jealous of one another. 

In 1870 Prance was overthrown and suffered 


by far the most damaging and disastrous defeat 
she had suffered since the days of Joan of Arc — 
because she was not prepared. In the present 
war she has suffered terribly, but she is beyond 
all comparison better off than she was in 1870, 
because she has been prepared. Poor Belgium, in 
spite of being prepared, was almost destroyed, 
because great neutral nations — ^the United States 
being the chief offender — have not yet reached the 
standard of international morality and of willing- 
ness to fight for righteousness which must be 
attained before they can guarantee small, well- 
behaved, civilized nations against cruel disaster. 
England, because she was prepared as far as her 
navy is concerned, has been able to avoid Belgitun's 
fate; and, on the other hand, if she had been as 
prepared with her army as France, she would 
probably have been able to avert the war and, if 
this could not have been done, would at any rate 
have been able to save both Prance and Belgitun 
from invasion. 

In recent years Rimiania, Btdgaria, and Servia 
have at times suffered terribly, and in some 
cases have suffered disaster, in spite of being 
prepared for war; but Bosnia and Herzegovina 
are under alien rtde at this moment because 
they could no more protect themselves against 
Austria than they could against Turkey. While 
Greece was unprepared she was able to accomplish 


nothing, and she encountered disaster. As soon 
as she was prepared, she benefited immensely. 

Switzerland, at the time of the Napoleonic wars, 
was wholly unprepared for war. In spite of her 
mountains, her neighbors overran her at will. 
Great battles were fought on her soil, including one 
great battle between the French and the Russians ; 
but the Swiss took no part in these battles. Their 
territory was practically annexed to the French 
Republic, and they were domineered over first by 
the Emperor Napoleon and then by his enemies. 
It was a bitter lesson, but the Swiss learned it. 
Since then they have gradually prepared for war 
as no other small state of Etirope has done, and 
it is in consequence of this preparedness that none 
of the combatants has violated Swiss territory in 
the present struggle. 

The briefest examination of the facts shows that 
unpreparedness for war tends to lead to immea- 
surable disaster, and that preparedness, while it 
does not certainly avert war any more than the 
fire department of a city certainly averts fire, yet 
tends very strongly to guarantee the nation against 
war and to secure success in war if it should tm- 
happily arise. 

Another argument advanced against prepared- 
ness for war is that such preparedness incites war. 
This, again, . is not in accordance with the facts. 
Unquestionably certain nations have at times pre- 


pared for war with a view to foreign conquest. 
But the rule has been that unpreparedness for war 
does not have any real effect in securing peace, 
although it is always apt to make war disastrous, 
and that preparedness for war generally goes hand 
in hand with an increased caution in going to war. 

Striking examples of these truths are furnished 
by the history of the Spanish-American states. 
For nearly three quarters of a century after these 
states won their independence their history was 
little else than a succession of bloody revolutions 
and of wars among themselves as well as with out- 
siders, while during the same period there was little 
or nothing done in the way of effective military pre- 
paredness by one of them. Dtiring the last twenty 
or thirty years, however, certain of them, notably 
Argentina and Chile, have prospered and become 
stable. Their stability has been partly caused by, 
and partly accompanied by, a great increase in 
military preparedness. During this period Argen- 
tina and Chile have known peace as they never 
knew it before, and as the other Spanish-American 
countries have not known it either before or since, 
and at the same time their military efficiency has 
enormously increased. 

Proportionately, Argentina and Chile are in 
military strength beyond all comparison more 
efficient than the United States; and if our 
navy is ptonitted to deteriorate as it has been de- 


teriorating for nearly two years, the same state- 
ment can soon be made, although with more 
qualification, of their naval strength. Prepared- 
ness for war has made them far less liable to have 
war. It has made them less and not more ag- 
gressive. It has also made them for the first time 
efficient potential factors in maintaining the Mon- 
roe Doctrine as coguarantors, on a footing of 
complete equality with the United States. The 
Monroe Doctrine, conceived not merely as a mea- 
sure of foreign policy vital to the welfare of the 
United States, but even more as the proper joint 
foreign policy of all American nations, is by far 
the most efficient guarantee against war that can 
be offered the western hemisphere. By whatever 
name it is called, it is absolutely indispensable 
in order to keep this hemisphere mistress of its 
own destinies, able to prevent any part of it 
from falling under the dominion of any Old World 
power, and able absolutely to control in its own 
interest all colonisation on and immigration to 
our shores from either Europe or Asia. 

The bloodiest and most destructive war in 
Spanish-American history, that waged by Brazil, 
Argentina, and Uruguay against Paraguay, was 
waged when all the nations were entirely unpre- 
pared for war, especially the three victorious 
nations. During the last two or three decades 
Mexico, the Central American states, Colombia, 


and Venezuela have been entirely unprepared for 
war, as compared with Chile and Argentina. Yet» 
whereas Chile and Argentina have been at peace, 
the other states mentioned have been engaged in 
war after war of the most bloody and destructive 
character. Entire lack of preparedness for war 
has gone hand in hand with war of the worst t}rpe 
and with all the worst sufferings that war can 

The lessons taught by Spanish-America are 
paralleled elsewhere. When Greece was entirely 
unprepared for war she nevertheless went to 
war with Turkey, exactly as she did when she 
was prepared; the only difference was that in 
the one case she suffered disaster and in the other 
she did not. The war between Italy and Turkey 
was due wholly to the fact that Turkey was not 
prepared — that she had no navy. The fact that 
in 1848 Prussia was entirely tmprepared, and 
moreover had just been engaged in a revolution 
heiartily approved by all th^ ultrapacificists and 
professional humanitarians, did not prevent her 
from entering on a war with Denmark. It merely 
prevented the war from being successful. 

Utter and complete lack of preparation on our 
part did not prevent our entering into war with 
Great Britain in 181 2 and with Mexico in 1848. 
It merely exposed us to humiliation and disaster 
in the former war; in the latter, Mexico was even 


worse ofiE as regards preparation than we were. 
As for civil war, of course military unpreparedness 
has not only never prevented it but, on the con- 
trary, seems usually to have been one of the 
inciting causes. 

The fact that unpreparedness does not mean 
peace ought to be patent to every American who 
will think of what has occurred in this country 
during the last seventeen years. In 1898 we 
were entirely tmprepared for war. No big nation, 
save and except our opponent, Spain, was more 
utterly tmprepared than we were at that time, nor 
more utterly unfit for military operations. This 
did not, however, mean that peace was secured for 
a single additional hour. Our army and navy had 
been neglected for thirty-three years. This was 
due largely to the attitude of the spiritual forebears 
of those eminent clergymen, earnest social workers, 
and professionally htunanitarian and peace-loving 
editors, publicists, writers for syndicates, speakers 
for peace congresses, pacificist college presidents, 
and the like who have recently come forward to 
protest against any inquiry into the military con- 
dition of this nation, on the grotmd that to supply 
our ships and forts with sufficient ammunition 
and to fill up the depleted ranks of the army and 
navy, and in other ways to prepare against war, 
will tend to interfere with peace. In 1898 the 
gentlemen of this sort had had their way for 


thirty-three years. Our army and navy had been 
grosdy neglected. But the unpreparedness due 
to this neglect had not the slightest effect of 
any kind in preventing the war. The only ef- 
fect it had was to cause the unnecessary and 
useless loss of thousands of lives in the war. 
Hundreds of young men perished in the Philip- 
pine trenches because, while the soldiers of Agui- 
naldo had modem rifles with smokeless powder, 
our troops had only the old black-powder Spring- 
field. Htmdreds more, nay thousands, died or 
had their health impaired for life in fever camps 
here in our own country and in the Philippines 
and Cuba, and suffered on transports, because we 
were entirely unprepared for war, and therefore 
no one knew how to take care of otir men. The 
lives of these brave young volunteers were the 
price that this country paid for the past action 
of men like the clergymen, college presidents, 
editors, and humanitarians in question — none of 
whom, by the way, risked their own Uves. They 
were also the price that this country paid for hav- 
ing had in previous cabinets just such incompe- 
tents as in time of peace Presidents so often, for 
political reasons, put into American cabinets— just 
such incompetents as President Wilson has put 
into the Departments of State and of the Navy. 
Now and then the ultrapadficists point out the 
fact that war is bad because the best men go to the 


front and the worst stay at home. There is a cer- 
tain.truth in this. I do not believe that we ought 
to permit pacificists to stay at hbme and escape all 
risk, while their braver and more patriotic fellow 
countrymen fight for the national well-being. It 
is for this reason that I wish that we would pro- 
vide for imiversal military training for our young 
men, and in the event of serious war maJce all 
men do their part instead of letting the whole 
burden fall upon the gallant souls who volunteer. 
But as there is small likelihood of any such course 
being followed in the immediate future, I at 
least hope that we will so prepare ourselves in 
time of peace as to make our navy and army 
thoroughly efficient ; and also to enable us in time 
of war to handle our voltmteers in such shape 
that the loss among them shall be ^ due to the 
enemy's bullets instead of, as is now the case, 
predominantly to preventable sickness which we 
do not prevent. I call the attention of the ultra- 
pacificists to the fact that in the last half cen- 
ttuy all the losses among our men caused by * ' mili- 
tarism," as they call it, that is, by the arms of an 
enemy in consequence of our going to war, have 
been far less than the loss caused among these 
same soldiers by applied pacificism, that is, by our 
government having jdelded to the wishes of the 
pacificists and declined in advance to make any 
preparations for war. The professional peace 


people have benefited the foes and ill*wishers of 
their country; but it is probably the literal fact 
to say that in the actual deed, by the obstacles 
they have thrown in the way of making adequate 
preparation in advance, they have caused more 
loss of life among American soldiers, fighting for 
the honor of the American flag, during the fifty 
years since the dose of the Civil War than has 
been caused by the foes whom we have fought 
during that period.^ 

But the most striking instance of the utter 
failure of unpreparedness to stop war has been 
shown by President Wilson himself. President 
Wilson has made himself the great official cham- 
pion of unpreparedness in military and naval 
matters. His words and his actions about foreign 
war have their nearest parallel in the words and 
the actions of President Buchanan about civil war; 
and in each case there has been the same use of 
verbal adroitness to cover mental hesitancy. By 

1 Some oi the leading pacificists are men who have made great 
fortunes in industry. Of course industry inevitably takes toll of 
life. Far more lives have been lost in this country by men engaged 
in bridge building, tunnel digging, mining, steel manufacturing, the 
erection of sky-scrapers, the operations of the fishing fleet, and the 
like, than in all our battles in all our foreign wars put together. Such 
loss of life no more justifies us in opposing righteous wars than in 
opposing necessary industry. There was certainly far greater loss of 
life, Tmd probably greater needless and preventable and uncompen- 
sated loss of life, in the industries out of which Mr. Carnegie made 
his gigantic forttme than has occurred among our troops in war dur- 
ing the time covered by Mr. Carnegie's activities on behalf of peace. 


his words and his actions President Wilson has 
done everything possible to prevent this nation 
from making its army and navy effective and to 
increase the inefficiency which he already f otmd 
existing. We were unprepared when he took 
office, and every month since we have grown still 
less prepared. Yet this fact did not prevent 
President Wilson, the great apostle of unpre- 
paredness, the great apostle of pacificism and 
anti-militarism, from going to war with Mexico 
last spring. It merely prevented him, or, to 
speak more accurately, the same mental peculi- 
arities which made him the apostle of unprepared- 
ness also prevented him, from making the war 
efficient. His conduct rendered the United States 
an object of international derision because of 
the way in which its affairs were managed. Presi- 
dent Wilson made no declaration of war. He did 
not in any way satisfy the requirements of common 
international law before acting. He invaded a 
neighboring state, with which he himself insisted 
we were entirely at peace, and occupied the most 
considerable seaport of the cotmtry after mili- 
. tary operations which resulted in the loss of the 
lives of perhaps twenty of our men and five or 
ten times that number of Mexicans; and then he 
sat supine, and refused to allow either the United 
States or Mexico to reap any benefit from what had 
been done. 


It is idle to say that such an amazing action 
was not war. It was an utterly futile war and 
achieved nothing; but it was war. We had 
ample justification for interfering in Mexico and 
even for going to war with Mexico, if after care- 
ful consideration this course was deemed neces- 
sary. But the President did not even take notice 
of any of the atrocious wrongs Americans had suf- 
fered, or deal with any of the grave provocations 
we had received. His statement of justification 
was merely that "we are in Mexico to serve man- 
kind, if we can find a way." Evidently he did 
not have in his mind any particular idea of how he 
was to "serve mankind," for, after staying eight 
months in Mexico, he decided that he could not 
"find a way" and brought his army home. He 
had not accomplished one single thing. At one 
time it was said that we went to Vera Cruz to 
stop the shipment of arms into Mexico. But 
after we got there we allowed the shipments 
to continue. At another time it was said that 
we went there in order to exact an apology for 
an insult to the flag. But we never did exact the 
apology, and we left Vera Cruz without taking 
any steps to get an apology. In all our history 
there has been no more extraordinary example 
of queer infirmity of purpose in an important 
crisis than was shown by President Wilson in this 
matter. His business was either not to interfere 


at all or to interfere hard and eflEectively. This 
was the sole policy which should have been al- 
lowed by regard for the dignity and honor of the 
government of the United States and the welfare 
of our people. In the actual event President 
Wilson interfered, not enough to quell dvil war, 
not enough to put a stop to or punish the out- 
rages on American citizens, but enough to incur 
fearful responsibilities. Then, having without 
authority of any kind, either under the Consti- 
tution or in international law or in any other way, 
thus interfered, and having interfered to worse 
than no ptirpose, and having made himself and 
the nation partly responsible for the atrocious 
wrongs committed on Americans and on foreigners 
generally in Mexico by the bandit chiefs whom 
he was more or less furtively supporting. Presi- 
dent Wilson abandoned his whole policy and drew 
out of Mexico to resimae his "watchftd waiting." 
When the President, who has made himself the 
chief ofl&dal exponent of the doctrine of tmpre- 
paredness, thus shows that even in his hands 
unpreparedness has not the smallest effect in 
preventing war, there ought to be little need of 
discussing the matter further. 

Preparedness for war occasionally has a slight 
effect in creating or increasing an aggressive and 
militaristic spirit. Far more often it distinctly 
diminishes it. In Switzerland, for instance, which 


we can well afford to take as a model for 
ourselves, effectiveness in preparation, and the 
retention and development of all the personal 
qualities which give the individual man the fight- 
ing edge, have in no shape or way increased the 
militarist or aggressive spirit. On the contrary, 
they have doubtless been among the factors that 
have made the Swiss so much more law-abiding 
and less homicidal than we are. 

The ultrapadfidsts have been fond of prophe^- 
ing the immediate approach of a tmiversally peace- 
ful condition throughout the world, which will 
render it tmnecessary to prepare against war be- 
cause there will be no more war. This represents 
in some cases well-meaning and pathetic folly. In 
other cases it represents mischievous and inexcus- 
able folly. But it always represents folly. At 
best, it represents the inability of some well- 
meaning men of weak mind, and of some men of 
strong but twisted mind, either to face or to 
understand facts. 

These prophets of the inane are not peculiar 
to oiu* own day. A little over a century and a 
quarter ago a noted Italian pacificist and phi- 
losopher, Aurelio Bertela, stunmed up the future 
of civilized mankind as follows: ''The political 
system of Europe has arrived at perfection. An 
equilibrium has been attained which henceforth 
will preserve peoples from subjugation. Pew re- 


forms are now needed and these will be accom- 
plished peaceably. Europe has no need to fear 

These sapient statements (which have been 
paralleled by hundreds of utterances in the many 
peace congresses of the last couple of decades) 
were delivered in 1787, the year in which the 
French Assembly of Notables ushered in the 
greatest era of revolution, domestic turmoil, and 
international war in all history — an era which 
still continues and which shows not the smallest 
sign of coming to an end. Never before. have 
there been wars on so great a scale as during this 
century and a quarter; and the greatest of all 
these wars is now being waged. Never before, 
except for the ephemeral conquests of certain 
Asiatic barbarians, have there been subjugations 
of civilized peoples on so great a scale. 

During this period here and there something 
has been done for peace, much has been done for 
liberty, and very much has been done for reform 
and advancement. But the professional pacifi- 
cists, taken as a class throughout the entire period, 
have done nothing for permanent peace and 
less than nothing for liberty and for the forward 
movement of mankind. Hideous things have 
been done in the name of liberty, in the name 
of order, in the name of religion; and the vic- 
tories that have been gained against these iniqtii- 


ties have been gained by strong men, armed, who 
put their strength at the service of righteousness 
and who were hampered and not helped by the 
futility of the men who inveighed against all 
use of armed strength. 

The effective workers for the peace of righteous- 
ness were men like Stein, Cavour, and Lincoln; 
that is, men who dreamed great dreams, but who 
were also pre-eminently men of action, who stood 
for the right, and who knew that the right would 
fail unless might was put behind it. The prophets 
of pacificism have had nothing whatever in com- 
mon with these great men; and whenever they 
have preached mere pacificism, whenever they 
have failed to put righteousness first and to ad- 
vocate peace as the handmaiden of righteous- 
ness, they have done evil and not good. 

After the exhaustion of the Napoleonic struggles 
there came thirty-five years dtuing which there 
was no great war, while what was called "the long 
peace" was broken only by minor international 
wars or short-lived revolutionary contests. Good, 
but not far-sighted, men in various countries, 
but especially in England, Germany, and our 
own cotmtry, forthwith began to dream dreams — 
not of a universal peace that should be foimded 
on justice and righteousness backed by strength, 
but of a universal peace to be obtained by the 
prattle of weaklings and the outpoxirings of amia- 


ble enthtisiasts who lacked the fighting edge. 
About 1850, for instance, the first large peace 
congress was held. There were numbers of kindly 
people who felt that this congress, and the con- 
temporary international exposition, also the first 
of its kind, heralded the beginning of a r6gime of 
universal peace. As a matter of fact, there fol- 
lowed twenty years during which a ntmiber of 
great and bloody wars took place — ^wars far sur- 
passing in extent, in duration, in loss of life and 
property, and in importance anything that had 
been seen since the close of the Napoleonic con- 

Then there came another period of nearly thirty 
years during which there were relatively only a 
few wars, and these not of the highest importance. 
Again upright and intelligent but uninformed men 
began to be misled by foolish men into the belief 
that world peace was about to be secured, on a 
basis of amiable fatuity all.arotmd and tmder the 
lead of the preachers of the diluted mush of make- 
believe morality. A number of peace congresses, 
none of which accomplished anything, were held, 
and also certain Hague conferences, which did ac- 
complish a certain small amotmt of real good but 
of a strictly limited kind. It was well worth go- 
ing into these Hague conferences, but only on con- 
dition of clearly understanding how strictly limited 
was the good that they accomplished. The hys- 


terical people who treated them as furnishing a 
patent peace panacea did nothing but harm, and 
partially offset the real but limited good the con- 
ferences actually accomplished. Indeed, the con- 
ferences undoubtedly did a certain amount of 
damage because of the preposterous expectations 
they excited among well-meaning but ill-informed 
and unthinking persons. These persons really be- 
lieved that it was possible to achieve the millen- 
nium by means that would not have been very 
effective in preserving peace among the active boys 
of a large Sunday-school — ^let alone grown-up men 
in the world as it actually is. A pathetic com- 
mentary on their attitude is furnished by the fact 
that the fifteen years that have elapsed since the 
first Hague conference have seen an immense in- 
crease of war, culminating in the present war, 
waged by armies, and with bloodshed, on a scale 
far vaster than ever before in the history of man- 

All these facts furnish no excuse whatever for 
our failing to work zealously for peace, but they 
absolutely require us to understand that it is 
noxious to work for a peace not based on right- 
eousness, and useless to work for a peace based on 
righteousness tmless we put force back of right- 
eousness. At present this means that adequate 
preparedness against war offers to our nation its 
sole guarantee against wrong and aggression. 


Emerson has said that in the long run the most 
uncomfortable truth is a safer travelling compan- 
ion than the most agreeable falsehood. The advo- 
cates of peace will accomplish nothing except mis- 
chief until they are willing to look facts squarely 
in the face. One of these facts is that universal 
military service, wherever tried, has on the whole 
been^a benefit and not a harm to the people of the 
nation, so long as the demand upon the average 
man's life has not been for too long a time. The 
Swiss people have beyond all question benefited 
by their system of limited but tmiversal prepara- 
tion for military service. The same thing is .true 
of Australia, Chile, and Argentina. In every one 
of these countries the short military training given 
has been found to increase in marked fashion the 
social and industrial efficiency, the ability to do 
good industrial work, of the man thus trained. 
It would be well for the United States from every 
standpoint immediately to provide such strictly 
limited universal military training. 

But it is well also for the United States to im- 
derstand that a system of military training which 
from our standpoint would be excessive and un- 
necessary in order to meet our needs, may yet 
work admirably for some other nation. The two 
nations that during the last fifty years have made 
by far the greatest progress are Germany and 
Japan; and they are the two nations in which 


preparedness for war in time d peace has been 
carried to the highest point of scientific develop- 
ment. The feat of Japan has been something 
absolutely without precedent in recorded history. 
Great civilizations, military, industrial, and ar- 
tistic, have arisen and flourished in Asia again and 
again in the past. But never before has an Asiatic 
power succeeded in adopting civilization of the 
European or most advanced type and in develop- 
ing it to a point of military and industrial efficiency 
equalled only by one power of European blood. 

As for Germany, we believers in democracy 
who also tmderstand, as every sotmd-thinking 
democrat mtist, that democracy cannot succeed 
unless it shows the same efficiency that is shown 
by autocracy (as Switzerland on a small scale 
has shown it) need above all other men carefully 
to study what Germany has accomplished during 
the last half centtary. Her military efficiency has 
not been more astotmding than her industrial 
and social efficiency; and the essential thing in 
her career of greatness has been the fact that 
this industrial and social efficiency is in part di- 
rectly based upon the military efficiency and in 
part indirectly based upon it, because based upon 
the mental, physical, and moral qualities de- 
veloped by the military efficiency. The solidarity 
and power of collective action, the trained ability 
to work hard for an end which is afar off in the 


future, the combination of intelligent 'forethought 
with efficient and strenuous action — all these to- 
gether have given her her extraordinary industrial 
pre-eminence; and all of these have been based 
upon her military efficiency. 

The Germans have developed patriotism of 
the most intense kind, and although this patriot- 
ism expresses itself in thunderotis songs, in speeches 
and in books, it does not confine itself to these 
methods of expression, but treats them merely 
as incitements to direct and efficient action. 
Aftfer five months of war, Germany has on the 
whole been successful against opponents which 
in population outnumber her over two to one, 
and in natural resotu'ces are largely superior. 
Russian and French armies have from time to 
time obtained lodgement on German soil; but on 
the whole the fighting has been waged by Ger- 
man armies on Russian, French, and Belgian 
territory. On her western frontier, it is true, 
she was checked and thrown back after her first 
drive on Paris, and again checked and thrown 
slightly back when, after the fall of Antwerp, she 
attempted to advance along the Belgian coast. 
But in the west she has on the whole successfully 
pursued the offensive, and her battle lines are in 
the enemies' territory, although she has had to 
face the entire strength of France, England, and 


Moreover, she did this with only a part of her 
forces. At the same time she was also obliged 
to use immense armies, singly or in conjimction 
with the Austriai\s, against the Russians on her 
Eastern frontier. No one can foretell the issue 
of the war. But what Germany has already done 
must extort the heartiest admiration for her grim 
efficiency. It could have been done only by a 
oMisterful people guided by keen intelligence and 
inspired by an intensely patriotic spirit. 

France has likewise shown to fine advantage 
in this war (in spite of certain marked short- 
comings, such as the absurd uniforms of her 
soldiers) because of her system of tmiversal mili- 
tary training. England has suffered lamentably 
because there has been no such system. Great 
masses of Englishmen, including all her men 
at the front, have behaved so as to command our 
heartiest admiration. But qualification must be 
made when the nation as a whole is considered. 
Her professional soldiers, her navy, and her upper 
classes have done admirably; but the English 
papers describe certain sections of her people as 
making a poor showing in their refusal to volun- 
teer. The description of the professional football 
matches, attended by tens of thousands of spec- 
tators, none of whom will enlist, makes a decent 
man ardently wish that under a rigid conscription 
law the entire body of players, promoters, and 


spectators could be sent to the front. Scotland 
and Canada have apparently made an extraordi- 
nary showing; the same thing is true of sections, 
high and low, of society in England proper; but 
it is also true that certain sections of the British 
democracy under a system of free volimteering 
have shown to disadvantage compared to Ger- 
many, where military service is universal. The 
lack of foresight in preparation was also shown 
by the inability of the authorities to furnish arms 
and equipment for the troops that were being 
raised. These shortcomings are not alluded to 
by me in a censorious spirit, and least of all with 
any idea of reflecting on England, but purely that 
our own people may profit by the lessons taught. 
America should pay heed to these facts and profit 
by them; and we can only so profit if we realize 
that under like conditions we should at the 
moment make a much poorer showing than En- 
gland has made. 

It is indispensable to remember that in the 
cases of both Germany and Japan their extraor- 
dinary success has been due directly to that kind 
of efl&dency in war which springs only from the 
highest efficiency in preparedness for war. Until 
educated people who sincerely desire peace face 
this fact with all of its implications, tmpleasant 
and pleasant, they will not be able to better 
present international conditions. In order to se- 


cure this betterment, conditions must be created 
which will enable civilized nations to achieve such 
efficiency without being thereby rendered danger- 
ous to their neighbors and to civilization as a 
whole. Americans, particularly, a,nd, to a de- 
gree only slightly less, Englishmen and Frenchmen 
need to remember this fact, for while the ultra- 
padficists, the peace-at-any-price men, have ap- 
peared sporadically ever3rwhere, they have of 
recent years been most ntunerous and noxious in 
the United States, in Great Britain, and in France. 

Inasmuch as in our country, where. Heaven 
knows, we have evils enough with which to grap- 
ple, none of these evils is in even the smallest de- 
gree due to militarism — ^inasmuch as to inveigh 
against militarism in the United States is about 
as tisef ul as to inveigh against eating horse-flesh in 
honor of Odin — ^this seems curious. But it is true. 
Probably it is merely another illustration of the 
old, old truth that persons who shrink from grap- 
pling with grave and real evils often strive to 
atone to their consciences for such failure by empty 
denunciation of evils which to them offer no dan- 
ger and no temptation; which, as far as they are 
concerned, do not exist. Such denimciation is 
easy. It is also worthless. 

American college presidaits, clergymen, pro- 
fessors, and publicists with much pretension — 
some of it f oimded on fact — to intelligence have 


praised works like that of Mr. Bloch, who 
"proved" that war was impossible, and like those 
of Mr. Norman Angell, who "proved" that it 
was an illusion to believe that it was profitable. 
The greatest and most terrible wars in history 
have taken place since Mr. Bloch wrote. When 
Mr. Angell wrote no unprejudiced man of wis- 
dom could have failed to understand that the two 
most successful nations of recent times, Germany 
and Japan, owed their great national success to 
successful war. The United States owes not only 
its greatness but its very existence to the fact 
that in the Civil War the men who controlled its 
destinies were the fighting men. The counsels of 
the ultrapadficists, the peace-at-any-price men of 
that day, if adopted, would have meant not only 
the death of the nation but an incalculable disaster 
to humanity. A righteous war may at any moment 
be essential to national welfare; and it is a lamen- 
table fact that nations have sometimes profited 
greatly by war that was not righteous. Such evil 
profit will never be done away with until armed 
force is put behind righteousness. 

We mtist also remember, however, that the 
mischievous folly of the men whose counsels tend 
to ineflSdency and impotence is not worse than 
the baseness of the men who in a spirit of mean 
and cringing admiration of brute force gloss over, 
or justify, or even deify, the exhibition of unscrupu- 


lous strength. Writings like those of Homer Lea, 
or of Nietzsche, or even of Professor Treitschke 
— ^not to speaJk of Carlyle — are as objectionable 
as those of Messrs. Bloch' and Angell. Otir 
people need to pay homage to the great effi- 
ciency and the intense patriotism of Germany. 
But they need no less fully to realize that this 
patriotism has at times beeii accompanied by 
callous indifference to the rights of weaker na- 
tions, and that this efficiency has at times been 
exercised in a way that represents a genuine set- 
back to humanity and civilization. Germany's 
conduct toward Belgium can be justified only in 
accordance with a theory which will also justify 
Napoleon's conduct toward Spain and his treat- 
ment of Prussia and of all Germany during the 
six years succeeding Jena. I do not see how any 
man can fail to sympathize with Stein and Schom- 
horst; with Andreas Hofer, with the Maid of 
Saragossa, with Koemer and the Tugendbimd; 
and if he does so sympathize, he must extend the 
same sympathy and admiration to King Albert 
and the Belgians. 

Moreover, it is well for Americans always to re- 
member that what has been done to Belgium 
would, of course, be done to us just as tmhesitat- 
ingly if the conditions required it. 

Of course, the lowest depth is reached by the 
professional pacificists who continue to scream for 


peace without daring to protest against any con- 
crete wrong committed against peace. These in- 
clude all of our fellow countrymen who et the 
present time clamor for peace without explicitly 
and clearly declaring that the first condition of 
peace should be the righting of the wrongs of 
Belgium, reparation to her, and guarantee against 
the possible repetition of such wrongs at the ex- 
pense of any well-behaved small civilized power 
in the future. It may be that peace will come 
without such reparation and guarantee but if so 
it will be as emphatically the peace of unright- 
eousness as was the peace made at Tilsit a hundred 
and seven years ago. 

When the President appoints a day of prayer 
for peace, without emphatically making it evident 
that the prayer should be for the redress of the 
wrongs without which peace would be harmful, 
he cannot be considered as serving righteousness. 
When Mr. Bryan concludes absurd all-inclusive 
arbitration treaties and is loquacious to peace 
societies about the abolition of war, without dar- 
ing to protest against the hideous wrongs done 
Belgitun, he feebly serves unrighteousness. More 
comic manifestations, of course entirely useless 
but probably too fatuous to be really mischievous, 
are those which find expression in the circulation 
of peace postage-stamps with doves on them, or 
in taJdng part in peace parades — ^they might as 


well be antivacdnation parades — or in the circu- 
lation of peace petitions to be signed by school- 
diildren, which for all their possible effect might 
just as well relate to the planet Mars. 

International peace will only come when the 
nations of the world form some kind of league 
which provides for an international tribunal to 
decide on international matters, which decrees 
that treaties and international agreements are 
never to be entered into recklessly and foolishly, 
and when once entered into are to be observed 
with entire good faith, and which puts the collec- 
tive force of civilization behind such treaties and 
agreements and court decisions and against any 
wrong-doing or recalcitrant nation. The all- 
inclusive arbitration treaties negotiated by the 
present administration amount to almost nothing. 
They are utterly worthless for good. They are 
however slightly mischievous because: 

1. There is no provision for their enforcement, 

2. They wotdd be in some cases not only im- 
possible but improper to enforce. 

A treaty is a promise. It is like a promise to 
pay in the commercial world. Its value Ues in 
the means provided for redeeming the promise. 
To make it, and not redeem it, is vicious. A 
United States gold certificate is valuable because 
gold is back of it. If there were nothing back of 


it the certificate would sink to the position of 
fiat money, which is irredeemable, and therefore 
valueless; as in the case of our Revolutionary 
currency. The Wilson-Bryan all-inclusive arbi- 
tration treaties represent nothing whatever but 
international fiat money. To make them is no 
more honest than it is to issue fiat money. Mr. 
Bryan would not make a good Secretary of the 
Treasury, but he would do better in that posi- 
tion than as Secretary of State. For ^s type of 
fiat obligations is a little worse in international 
than in internal affairs. The all-inclusive arbi- 
tration treaties, in whose free and unlimited ne- 
gotiation Mr. Bryan takes such pleasure, are of 
less value than the thirty-cent dollars, whose free 
and unlimited coinage he formerly advocated. 

An efl&cient world league for peace is as yet in 
the future; and it may be, although I sincerely 
hope not, in the far future. The indispensable 
thing for every free people to do in the present 
day is with efficiency to prepare against war 
by making itself able physically to defend its 
rights and by cultivating that stem and manly 
spirit without which no material preparation will 

The last point is all essential. It is not of much 
use to provide an armed force if that force is 
composed of pbltroons and ultrapadfidsts. Such 
men should be sent to the front, of course, for they 


should not be allowed to shirk the danger which 
their braver fellow countrymen willingly face, and 
under proper discipline some use can be made of 
them ; but the fewer there are of them in a nation 
the better the army of that nation will be. 

A Yale professor — ^he might just as well have 
been a Harvard professor — ^is credited in the press 
with sajdng the other day that he wishes the 
United States would take the position that if at- 
tacked it would not defend itself, and would sub- 
mit unresistingly to any spoliation. The profes- 
sor said that this wotild afford such a beautiful 
example to mankmd that war would undoubtedly 
be abolished. Magazine writers, and writers of 
syndicate articles published in reputable papers, 
have recently advocated similar plans. Men who 
talk this way are thoroughly bad citizens. Few 
members of the criminal class are greater enemies 
of the republic. 

American citizens must understand that they 
cannot advocate or acquiesce in an evil course 
of action and then escape responsibility for the 
results. If disaster comes to otir navy in the near 
future it will be directly due to the way the navy 
has been handled during the past twenty-two 
months, and a part of the responsibility will be 
shared by every man who has failed effectively 
to protest against, or in any way has made him- 
self responsible for, the attitude of the present 


administration in foreign affairs and as regards 
the navy. 

The first and most important thing for us as a 
people to do, in order to prepare ourselves for 
self-defense, is to get clearly in our minds just 
what our policy is to be, and to insist that our 
public servants shall make their words and their 
deeds correspond. As has already been pointed 
out, the present administration was elected on the 
explicit promise that the Philippines should be 
given their independence, and it has taken action 
in the Philippines which can only be justified on 
the theory "that this independence is to come in 
the immediate future. I believe that we have 
rendered incalculable service to the Philippines, 
and that what we. have there done has shown in 
the most striking manner the extreme mischief 
that would have followed if, in 1898 and the sub- 
sequent years, we had failed to do our duty in con- 
sequence of following the advice of Mr. Bryan 
and the pacificists or anti-imperialists of that day. 
But we must keep our promises; and we ought 
now to leave the islands completely at as early a 
date as possible. 

There remains to defend — ^the United States 
proper, the Panama Canal and its approaches, 
Alaska, and Hawaii. To defend all these is vital 
to our honor and interest. For such defense pre- 
paredness is essential. 


The first and most essential form of prepared- 
ness should be making the navy efficient. Abso- 
lutely and relatively, our navy has never been 
at such a pitch of efficiency as in February, 1909, 
when the battle fleet returned from its voyage 
around the world. Unit for unit, there was no 
other navy in the world which was at that time 
its equal. Dtuing the next four years we had 
an admirable Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Meyer 
— ^we were f ortimate in having then and since 
good Secretaries of War in Mr. Stimson and Mr. 
Garrison. Owing to causes for which Mr. Meyer 
was in no way responsible, there was a slight rel- 
ative falling off in the efficiency of the navy, and 
probably a slight absolute falling off during the 
following four years. But it remained very ef- 

Since Mr. Daniels came in, and because of 
the action taken by Mr. Daniels tmder the direc- 
tion of President Wilson, there has been a most 
lamentable reduction in efficiency. If at tins 
moment we went to war with a first-class navy 
of equal strength to our own, there would be a 
chance not only of defeat but of disgrace. It is 
probably impossible to put the navy in really 
first-class condition with Mr. Daniels at its head, 
precisely as it is impossible to conduct our foreign 
affairs with dignity and efficiency while Mr. 
Bryan is at the head of the State Department. 


But the great falling-off in naval efficiency has 
been due primarily to the policy pursu^ by 
President Wilson himself. He has kept the nayy 
in Mexican waters. The small craft at Tampico 
and elsewhere could have rendered real service, 
but the President ref tised to allow them to render 
such service, and left English and German sea 
officers to protect our people. The great war craft 
were of no use at all; yet at this moment he has 
brought back from Mexico the ^rmy which could 
be of some use and has kept there the war-ships 
which cannot be of any use, and whidh suffer 
terribly in efficiency from being so kept. The 
fleet has had no manoeuvring for twenty-two 
months. It has had almost no gun practice by 
division during that time. There is not enough 
powder; there are not enough torpedoes; the 
bottoms of the ships are fotd; there are grave 
defects in the submarines; there is a deficiency in 
aircraft; the under-enlistments indicate a defi- 
ciency of from ten thousand to twenty thousand 
men; the whole service is being handled in such 
manner as to impair its fitness and morale. 

Congress should summon before its committees 
the best naval experts and provide the battle- 
ships, cruisers, submarines, floating mines, and 
aircraft that these experts declare to be necessary 
for the full protection of the United States. It 
should bear in mind that while many of these 


machines of war are essentially to be used in strik- 
ing from the coasts themselves, yet that others 
must be designed to keep the enemy afar from 
these coasts. Mere defensive by itself cannot per- 
manently avail. The only permanently efficient 
defensive arm is one which can act offensively. 
Our navy must be fitted for attack, for delivering 
smashing blows, in order effectively to defend our 
own shores. Above all, we should remember that 
a highly trained personnel is absolutely indispen- 
sable, for without it no material preparation is of 
the least avail. 

But the navy ^alone will not suffice in time of 
great crisis. If England had adopted the policy 
urged by Lord Roberts, there would probably 
have been no war and certainly the war would 
now have been at an end, as she would have been 
able to protect Belgium, as well as herself, and to 
save France from invasion. Relatively to the 
Continent, England was utterly unprepared; but 
she was a miracle of preparedness compared to us. 
There are many ugly features connected with the 
slowness of certain sections of the English people 
to volunteer and with their deficiency in rifles, 
horses, and equipment; and there have been cer- 
tain military and naval shortcomings; but tmtil 
we have radically altered our habits of thought 
and action we can only say with abashed htunility 
that if England has not shown to advantage com- 


pared to Germany, she has certainly done far bet- 
ter than we would have done, and than, as a mat- 
ter of fact, we ad;ually have done during the past 
twenty-two months, both as regards Mexico and 
as regards the fulfilment of our duty in the situa- 
tion created by the world war. 

Congress should at once act favorably along 
the lines recommended in the recent excellent 
report of the Secretary of War and in accordance 
with the admirable plan outlined in the last 
report of the Chief of Staff of the army, General 
Wotherspoon — a report with which his prede- 
cessor as Chief of Staff, General Wood, appears 
to be in complete sympathy. Our army should 
be doubled in size. An effective reserve diould be 
created. Ev^y year there should be field ma- 
noeuvres on a large scale, a htmdred thousand 
being engaged for several weeks. The artillery 
should be given the most scientific training. The 
eqtiipment should be made perfect at every point. 
Rigid economy should be demanded. 

Every <^cer and man should be kept to the 
highest standard of physical and moral fitness. 
The unfit should be ruthlessly weeded out. At 
least one third of the officers in each grade should 
be promoted on merit without regard to seniority, 
and the least fit for promotion diould be retir^ 
Every unit of the regular army and reserve should 
be trained to the highest efficiency under war con- 


But this is not enough. There should be at 
least ten times the number of rifles and the quan- 
tity of ammunition in the country that there are 
now. In our high schools and colleges a system 
of military training like that which obtains in 
Switzerland and Australia should be given. Fur- 
thermore, all our young men should be trained in 
actual field-service tmder war conditions; prefera- 
bly on the Swiss, but if not on the Swiss then on 
the Argentinian or Chilean model. 

The Swiss model would probably be bett» 
for our people. It would necessitate only four 
to six months' service shortly after graduation 
from high school or college, and thereafter only 
about eight days a year. No man could buy a 
substitute; no man would be excepted because of 
his wealth; all would serve in the ranks on pre- 
cisely the same terms side by side. 

Under this system the young men would be 
trained to shoot, to march, to take care of them- 
selves in the open, and to leam those habits of 
self-reliance and law-abiding obedience which are 
not only essential to the efficiency of a citizen 
soldiery, but are no less essential to the efficient 
performance of civic duties in a free democracy. 
My own firm belief is that this system would help 
us in dvil qtdte as much as in military matters. 
It would increase our social and indtistrial ^- 
dency . It would help us to habits of order and 
respect for law. 


This proposal does not represent anything 
more than carrying out the purpose of the second 
amendment to the Federal Constitution, which 
declares that a well-regulated militia is necessary 
to the security of a free nation. The Swiss army 
is a well-regulated militia; and, therefore it is 
utterly diflferent from any militia we have ever 
had. The system of compulsory training and tmi- 
versal service has worked admirably in Switzer- 
land. It has saved the Swiss from war. It has 
developed their eflSdency in peace. 

In theory, President Wilson advocates unpre- 
paredness, and in the actual fact he practises, on 
otir behalf, tame submission to wrong-doing and 
refusal to stand for our own rights or for the rights 
of any weak power that is wronged. We who 
take the opposite view advocate merely acting as 
Washington urged us to act, when in his first 
annual address he said: "To be prepared for war 
is one of the most effectual means for preserving 
peace. A free people ought not only to be armed 
but disciplined ; to which end a uniform and well- 
digested plan is requisite." JeflEerson was not a 
fighting man, but even Jeflferson, writing to Mon- 
roe in 1785, urged the absolute need of building 
up otu" navy if we wished to escape oppression to 
our commerce and ''the present disrespect of the 
nations of Europe," and added the pregnant 
sentence: ''A coward is much more exposed to 


quarrels than a man of spirit." As President, he 
urged our people to train themselves to arms» so 
as to constitute a citizen soldiery, in terms that 
showed that his object was to accomplish exactly 
what the Swiss have accomplished, and what is 
advocated in this book. In one annual message 
he advocated ''the organization of 300,000 able- 
bodied men between the ages of eighteen and 
twenty-five for offense or defense at any time or 
in any place where they may be wanted." In a 
letter to MoDioe he advocated compulsory mili- 
tary service, saying: ''We must train and classify 
the whole of our male citizenry and make mili- 
tary instruction a part of collegiate education. We 
can never be safe until this is done." The methods 
taken by Jefferson and the Americans of Jeffer- 
son's day to accomplish this object were fatally 
defective. But their purpose was the same that 
those who think as we do now put forward. 
The difference is purely that we present efficient 
methods for accomplishing this puxpose. Wash- 
ington was a practical man of high ideals who 
always strove to reduce his ideals to practice. 
His address to Congress in December, 1793, ought 
to have been read by President Wilson before 
the latter sent in his message of 1914 with its 
confused advocacy of unpreparedness and its 
tone of furtive apology for submissipn to insult. 
Washington said: "There is much due to the 


United States among nations which will be with- 
held, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of 
weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must 
be able to repel it. If we desire to secure peace 
... it must be known that we are at all times 
ready for war," and he emphasized the fact that 
the peace thus secured by preparedness for war 
is the most potent method of obtaming material 

The need of such a system as that which I ad- 
vocate is well brought out in a letter I recently re- 
ceived from a college president. It runs in part 
as follows : 

What the average young fellow of eighteen to thirty 
doesn't know about shooting and riding makes an ap- 
palling total. I remember very well visiting the First 
Connecticut Regiment a day or two before it left for 
service in the Spanish War. A good many of my boys 
were with them and I went to see them ofiF. One fellow 
in particular, of whom I was and am very fond, took me 
to his tent and proudly exhibited his rifle, calling atten- 
tion to the beautiful condition to which he had brought 
it. It certainly was extremely shiny, and I conmiended 
him for his careful cleansing of his death-dealing weapon. 
Then I discovered that the firing-pin (it was an old 
Springfield) was rusted immovably into its place, and 
that my boy didn't know that there was any firing-pin. 
He had learned to expect that if you put a cartridge into 
the breech, pulled down the block, and pulled the trigger, 
it would probably go off if he had previously cocked it; 
but he had never done any of these things. 


It was my fortune to grow up amid sunomidiiigs and 
in a time wben every boy had and used a gun. Any boy 
fourteen years old who was not the proprietor of some 
kind of shooting*iron and fairly proficient in its use was 
in disgrace. Such a situation was unthinkable. So we 
were all fairly dependable shots with a fowling-piece or 
rifle. As a result of this and subsequent experience, I 
really believe that so long as my aging body would endure 
hardship, and provided further that I could be prevented 
from running away, I should be a more efficient soldier 
tl^m most of the young fellows on our campus to-day. 

I have watched with much dissatisfaction the gradual 
disappearance of the military schools here in the East. 
There are some prominent and useful ones in the West, 
but they are far too few, and I do not believe there is any 
preliminary military training of any sort in our public 
schools. I fear that the military training required by law 
in certain agricultural and other schook receiving federal 
aid is more or less of a fake; the object seeming to be to 
get the appropriation and make the least possible return. 

If in any way you can bring it about that our boys 
shall be taught to shoot, I believe with you that they can 
learn the essentials of drill very quickly when need arises. 
And even so, however, our rulers must learn the neces- 
sity of having rifles enough and ammunition enough to 
meet any emergency at all likely to occur. 

It is idle for this nation to trust to arbitration 
and neutrality treaties unbacked by force. It is 
idle to trust to the tepid good-will of other na- 
tions. It is idle to trust to alliances. Alliances 
change. Russia and Japan are now fighting side 
by side, although nine years ago they were fight- 


ing against one another. Twenty years ago 
Russia and Germany stood side by side. Fifteen 
years ago England was more hostile to Russia, 
and even to Prance, than she was to Germany. 
It is perfectly possible that after the dose of this 
war the present allies will fall out, or that Germany 
and Japan will turn up in close alliance. 

It is our duty to try to work for a great world 
league for righteous peace enforced by power; 
but no such league is yet in. sight. At present 
the prime duty of the American people is to 
abandon the inane and mischievous principle of 
watchful waiting — ^that is, of slothful and timid 
refusal either to face facts or to perform duty. 
Let us act justly toward others; and let us also 
be prepared with stout heart and strong hand to 
defend our rights against injustice from others. 

In his recent report the Secretary of War, Mr. 
Garrison, has put the case for preparedness in 
the interest of honorable peace so acbnirably that 
what he says should be studied by all our people. 
It runs in part as follows: 

''This, then, leaves for consideration the imminent 
questions of military policy; the considerations which, 
in my view, should be taken into accoimt in determining 
the same; and the suggestions which occur to me to be 
pertinent in the circumstances. 

It would be premature to attempt now to draw the 
ultimate lessons from the war in Europe. It is an impera- 


tive duty, however, to heed so much of what it biingis 
home to us as is incontrovertible and not to be changed 
by any event, leaving for later and more detailed and 
comprehensive consideration what its later developments 
and final conclusions may indicate. 

For orderly treatment certain preliminary considerar 
tions may be usefully adverted to. It is, of course, not 
necessary to dwell on the blessings of peace and the 
horrors of war. Every one desires peace, just as every 
one desires health, contentment, affection, sufficient 
means for comfortable existence, and other similarly 
beneficent things. But peace and the ojther states of 
being just mentioned are not always or even often soldy 
within one's own control. Those who are thoughtful and 
have courage face the facts of life, take lessons from ex- 
perience, and strive by wise conduct to attain the desir- 
able things, and by prevision and precaution to protect 
and defend them when obtained. It may truthfully be said 
that eternal vigilance is the price which must be paid in 
order to obtain the desirable things of life and to defend 

In collective affairs the interests of the group are con- 
fided to the government, and it thereupon is charged with 
the duty to preserve and defend these things. The gov- 
ernment must exercise for the nation the precautionary, 
defensive, and preservative measures necessary to that 
end. All governments must therefore have force — 
physical force — ». «., military force, for these purposes. 
The question for each nation when this matter is under 
consideration is. How much force should it have and of 
what should that force consist? 

In the early history of our nation there was a natural, 
almost inevitable, abhorrence of military force, because 
it connoted military despotism. Most, if not all, of the 


early settlers in this country came from nations where a 
few powerful persons tyrannically imposed their will 
upon the people by means of military power. The con- 
sequence was that the oppressed who fled to this country 
necessarily connected military force with despotism and 
had a dread thereof. Of course, all this has long since 
passed into history. No reasonable person in this coun- 
try to-day has the slightest shadow of fear of military 
despotism, nor of any interference whatever by military 
force in the conduct of dvil affairs. The military and the 
dvil are just as completely and permanently separated 
in this country as the church and the state are; the sub- 
jection of the military to the dvil is settled and unchange- 
able. The only reason for adverting to the obsolete con- 
dition is to antidpate the action of those who will dte 
from the works of the founders of the republic excerpts 
showing a dread of military ascendancy in our govern- 
ment. Undoubtedly, at the time such sentiments were 
expressed there was a very real dread. At the present 
time such expressions are entirdy inapplicable and do 
not furnish even a presentable pretext for opposing proper 
military preparation. 

It also seems proper, in passing, to refer to the frame 
of mind of those who use the word ''militarism" as the 
embodiment of the doctrine of brute force and loosely 
apply it to any organized prq)aration of military force, 
and therefore deprecate any adequate military prepara- 
tion because it is a step in the direction of the contemned 
"militarism." It is perfectly apparent to any one who 
approaches the matter with an unprejudiced mind that 
what constitutes undesirable militarism, as distinguished 
from a necessary, proper, and adequate preparation of 
the military resources of the nation, depends upon the 
position in which each nation finds itself, and varies with 


every nation and with different conditions in each nation 
at different times. Every nation must have adequate 
force to protect itself from domestic insurrections, to 
enforce its laws, and to repel invasions; that is, every 
nation that has similar characteristics to those of a self- 
req>ecting man. (The Constitution obliges the United 
States to protect each State against invasion.) If it 
prepares and maintains more military force than is neces- 
sary for the purposes just named, then it is subject to 
the conviction, in the public opinion of the world, of 
having embraced "militarism,** unless it intends aggres- 
sion for a cause which the public opinion of the world 
conceives to be a righteous one. To the extent, however, 
that it confines its military preparedness to the purposes 
first mentioned, there is neither warrant nor justifica- 
tion in characterizing such action as "militarism." Those 
who would thus characterize it do so because they have 
readied the conclusion that a nation to-day can properly 
dispense with a prepared military force, and therefore 
they apply the word to any prq>aration or organization 
of the military resources of the nation. Not being able 
to conceive how a reasonable, prudent, patriotic man can 
reach such a conclusion, I caimot OHiceive any arguments 
or statements that would alter such a state of mind. 
It disregards all known facts, flies in the face of all ex- 
perience, and must rest upon faith in that which has 
not yet been made manifest. 

Whatever the future may hold in the way of agreements 
between nations, followed by actual disarmament thereof, 
of international courts of arbitration, and other greatly- 
to-be-desired measures to lessen or prevent conflict be- 
tween nation and nation, we all know that at present these 
conditions are not existing. We can and will eagerly 
adapt ourselves to each beneficent development along 


these lines; but to merely enfeeble ourselves in the 
meantime would, in my view, be imthinkable folly. By 
n^lecting and refusing to provide ourselves with the ' 
necessary means of self-protection and self-defense we 
could not hasten or in any way favorably influence the 
ultimate results we desire in these respects." 



SHERMAN'S celebrated declaration about 
war has certainly been borne out by what 
has happened in Europe, and above all in 
Belgium, during the last four months. That war 
is hell I will concede as heartily as any ultrapadf - 
idst. But the only alternative to war, that is to 
hell, is the adoption of some plan substantially 
like that which I herein advocate and which has 
itself been called Utopian. It is possible that it is 
Utopian for the time being; that is, that nations 
are not ready as yet to accept it. But it is also 
possible that after this war has come to an end 
the Etiropean contestants will be sufficiently so- 
bered to be willing to consider some such pro- 
posal, and that the United States will abandon 
the folly of the pacificists and be willing to co- 
operate in some practical effort for the only kind 
of peace worth having, the peace of justice and 

The proposal is not in the least Utopian, if by 
Utopian we understand something that is theoreti- 
cally desirable but impossible. What I propose is 



a working and realizable Utopia. My proposal is 
that the efficient civilized nations — ^those that are 
efficient in war as well as in peace — shall join in a 
world league for the peace of righteousness. This 
means that they shall by solemn covenant agree 
as to their respective ri ^ts whldilli^'n ot be 
questioned; that they shall agree that all other 
questions arising between them shall be sub- 
mitted to a court of arbitration; and that they / 
shall also agree — ^and here comes the vital and 
essential point of the whole system — ^to act with 
the combined military strength of all of them 
against any recalcitrant natiot^against any na- 
tion which transgresses at the expense of any 
other nation the rights which it is agreed shall 
not be questioned, or which on arbitrable mat- 
ters refuses to submit to the decree of the arbitral 

In its essence this plan means that there shall 
be a great international treaty for the peace of \ 
righteousness; that this treaty shall explicitly \ 
secure to each nation and except from the opera-'^ \ 
tions of any international tribtmal such matters 1 
as its territorial inte^ty. honor, and vital interest, ', 
and shall guarantee it in the possession of these 
rights; that this treaty shall therefore by its own 
terms explicitly provide against making foolish 
promises which cannot and ought not to be kept ; 
that this treaty shall be observed with absolute 


good faith — ^for it is worse than useless to enter 
into treaties tintil their observance in good faith 
is efficiently secured. Finally, and most impor- 
tant, this treaty shall put force back of right- 
eousness, shall provide a method of securing by the . 
exercise of force the observance of solemn inter- 
national obligations. This is to be accomplished 
by all the powers covenanting to put their whole 
strength back of the fulfilment of the treaty ob- 
ligations, including the decrees of the court es- 
tablished tmder and in accordance with the treaty. 
This proposal, therefore, meets the well-found 
objections against the foolish and mischievous all- 
inclusive arbitration treaties recently negotiated 
by Mr. Bryan tmder the direction of President 
Wilson. Tliese treaties, like the all-inclusive 
arbitration treaties which President Taft started 
to negotiate, explicitly include as arbitrable, or as 
proper subjects for action by joint commissions, 
questions of honor and of vital national interest. 
No such provision should be made. No such pro- 
vision is made as among private individuals in any 
civilized commtmity. No man is required to ''ar- 
bitrate" a slap in the face or an insult to his wife; 
no man is expected to ''arbitrate" with a btirglar 
or a highwayman. If in private life one indi- 
vidual takes action which immediately jeopard- 
izes the life or limb or even the bodily well-being 
and the comfort of another, the wronged party 


does not have to go into any arbitration with the 
wrong-doer. On the contrary, the policeman or 
constable or sheriff inomediately and suninaarily 
arrests the wrong-doer. The subsequent trial is 
not in the nature of arbitration at all. It is in 
the nature of a criminal proceeding. The wronged 
man is merely a witness and not necessarily an 
essential witness. For example, if, in the streets 
of New York, one man assatilts another or steals 
his watch, and a policeman is not near by, the 
wronged man is not only justified in knocking 
down the assailant or thief, but fails in his duty if 
he does not so act. If a policeman is near by, the 
policeman promptly arrests the wrong-doer. The 
magistrate does not arbitrate the question of prop- 
erty rights in the watch nor anything about the 
assault. He satisfies himself as to the facts and 
delivers judgment against the oflfender. 

A covenant between the United States and any 
other power to arbitrate all questions, including 
those involving national honor and interest, 
neither could nor ought to be kept. Such a cov- 
enant will be harmless only if no such questions 
ever arise. Now, all the worth of promises made 
in the abstract lies in the way in which they are 
fulfilled in the concrete. The Wilson-Bryan ar- 
bitration treaties are to be tested in this manner. 
The theory is, of course, that these treaties are to 
be made with all nations, and this is correct, be- 


cause it would be a far graver thing to refuse to 
make them with some nations than to refuse to 
enter into them with any nation at all. The pro- 
posal is, in effect, and disregarding verbiage, that 
all questions shall be arbitrated or settled by the 
action of a joint commission — questions really 
vital to us would, as a matter of fact, be settled 
adversely to us pending such action. There are 
many such questions which in the concrete we 
wotdd certainly not arbitrate. I 'mention one, 
only as an e3Lample. Do Messrs. Wilson and 
Bryan, or do they not, mean to arbitrate, if 
Japan should so desire, the question whether 
JaTpanese laborers are to be allowed to come in 
unlimited numbers to these shores? If they do 
mean this, let them explicitly state that fact — 
merely as an illustration — ^to the Senate com- 
mittee, so that the Senate committee shall under- 
stand what it is doing when it ratifies these treaties. 
^ they do not mean this, then let them promptly 
withdraw all the treaties so as not to expose us to 
the charge of hypocrisy, of making believe to do 
what we have no intention of doing, and of mak- 
ing promises which we have no intention of keep- 
ing. I have mentioned one issue only ; but there 
are scores of other issues which I cotild mention 
which this government would xmder no circum- 
stances agree to arbitrate. 
In the same way, we must explicitly recognize 


that all the peace congresses and the like that 
have been held of recent years have done no good 
whatever to the cause of world peace. All their 
addresses and resolutions about arbitration and 
disarmament and such matters have been on the 
whole slightly worse than useless. Disregarding 
the Hague conventions, it is the literal fact that 
none of the peace congresses that have been held 
for the last fifteen or twenty years — to speak only 
of those of which I myself know the workings — 
have accomplished the smallest particle of good. 
In so far as they have influenced free, liberty- 
loving, and self-respecting nations not to take 
measures for their own defense they have been 
positively mischievous. In no respect have they 
achieved anything worth achieving; and the pres- 
ent world war proves this beyond the possibility 
of serious question. 

The Hague conventions stand by themselves. 
They have accomplished a certain amount — al- 
though only a small amoimt — of actual good. 
This was in so far as they furnished means by 
which nations which did not wish to quarrel were 
able to settle international disputes not involving 
their deepest interests. Questions between na- 
tions continually arise which are not of first-class 
importance; which, for instance, refer to some 
illegal act by or against a fishing schooner, to 
some difficulty concerning contracts, to some 


question of the interpretation of a minor dause 
in a tieaty, or to the sporadic action of some hot* 
headed or panic-struck official* In these cases, 
where neither nation wishes to go to war, the 
Hague court has furnished an easy method for 
the settlement of the dispute without war. This 
does not mark a very great advance; but it is an 
advance, and was worth making. 

The fact that it is the only advance that the 
Hague court has accomplished makes the hys- 
terical outbursts formerly indulged in by the 
ultrapadfidsts concerning it seem in retrospect 
exceedingly foolish. While I had never shared 
the hopes of these ultrapadfidsts, I had hoped 
for more substantial good than has actually 
come from the Hague conventions. This was 
because I accept promises as meaning some- 
thing. The ultrapadfidsts, whether from ti- 
midity, from weakness, or from sheer folly, seem 
wholly unable to understand that the fulfil- 
ment of a promise has anything to do with mak- 
ing the promise. The most striking example 
that could possibly be furnished has been f ur- 
ished by Belgium. Under my direction as Presi- 
dent, the United States signed the Hague con- 
ventions. All the nations engaged in the present 
war signed these conventions, although one or 
two of the nations qualified their acceptance, 
or withheld their signatures to certain artides. 


This, however, did not in the least relieve the 
signatory powers from the duty to guarantee 
one another in th^ enjoyment of the rights sup- 
posed to be secured by the conventions. To 
make this guarantee worth anything, it was, of 
course, necessary actively to enforce it against 
any power breaking the convention or acting 
against its dear purpose. To make it really 
effective it should be enforced as quickly against 
non-signatory as against signatory powers; for 
to give a power free permission to do wrong if 
it did not sign would put a premium on non- 
signing, so far as big, aggressive powers are con- 

I authorized the signature of the United States 
to these conventions. They forbid the vio- 
lation of neutral territory, and, of coiu^, the 
subjugation of unoffending neutral nations, as 
Belgiiun has been subjugated. They forbid such 
destruction as that inflicted on Louvain, Dinant, 
and other towns in Belgiiun, the biuning of their 
priceless public libraries and wonderful halls and 
churches, and the destruction of cathedrals such 
as that at Rheims. They forbid the infliction of 
heavy pectmiary penalties and the taking of 
severe ptmitive measures at the expense of ci- 
vilian populations. They forbid the bombard- 
ment — of course including the dropping of bombs 
from aeroplanes — of unfortified cities and of cities 


whose defenses were not at the moment attacked. 
They forbid such actions as have been committed 
against various cities, Belgian, French, and En- 
glish, not for military reason but for the purpose 
of terrorizing the civilian population by killing 
and wounding men, women, and children who 
were non-combatants. All of these offenses have 
been committed by Germany. I took the action 
I did in directing these conventions to be signed 
on the theory and with the belief that the United 
States intended to live up to its obligations, 
and that our people understood that living up 
to solemn obligations, like any other serious 
performance of duty, means willingness to tnake 
effort and to inctir risk. If I had for one mo- 
ment supposed that signing these Hague con- 
ventions meant literally nothing whatever be- 
yond the expression of a pious wish which any 
power was at Uberty to disregard with impunity, 
in accordance with the dictation of self-interest, 
I would certainly not have permitted the United 
States to be a party to such a mischievous farce. 
President Wilson and Secretary Bryan, how- 
ever, take the view that when the United States 
assumes obligations in order to secure small and 
tmoffending neutral nations or non-combatants 
generally against hideous wrong, its action is not 
predicated on any intention to make the guar- 
antee effective. They take the view that when 


we are asked to redeem in the concrete, promises 
we made in the abstract, our duty is to disre- 
gard our obligations and to preserve ignoble peace 
for ourselves by regarding with cold-blooded and 
timid indifference the most frightful ravages of 
war committed at the expense of a peace- 
ful and imoflEending country. This is the cult 
of cowardice. That Messrs. Wilson and Bryan 
profess it and put it in action would be of small 
consequence if only they themselves were con- 
cerned. The importance of their action is that it 
commits the United States. 

Elaborate technical arguments have been made 
to justify this timid and selfish abandonment of 
duty, this timid and selfish failure to work for the 
world peace of righteousness, by President Wilson 
and Secretary Bryan. No sincere believer in dis- 
interested and self-sacrificing work for peace can 
justify it ; and work for peace will never be worth 
much unless accompanied by courage, eflEort, and 
self-sacrifice. Yet those very apostles of pacifi- 
cism who, when they can do so with safety, scream 
loudest for peace, have made themselves objects 
of contemptuotis derision by keeping silence in 
this crisis, or even by praising Mr. Wilson and 
Mr. Bryan for having thus abandoned the cause 
of peace. They are supported by the men who 
insist that all that we are concerned with is es- 
caping even the smallest risk that might follow 


upon the p e rf ormance of duty to any one except 
ourselves. This last is not a very exalted plea. 
It is, however, defensible. But if , as a naticm, we 
intend to act in accordance with it, we must never 
promise to do anything for any one else. 

The technical arguments as to the Hague con- 
ventions not requiring us to act will at once be 
brushed aside by any man who honestly and in 
good faith faces the situation. Either the Hague 
conventions meant something or else they meant 
nothing. If, in t^e event of their violation, n<me 
of the signatory powers were even to protest, then 
of course they meant nothing; and it was an act of 
unspeakable silliness to enter into them. If, on 
the other hand, they meant anything whatsoever, 
it was the duty of the United States, as the most 
powerful, or at least the richest and most populous, 
neutral nation, to take action for upholding them 
when their violation brought such appalling dis- 
aster to Belgium. There is no escape from this 

The first essential to working out successfully 
anj^ scheme whatever for world peace is to tmder- 
stand that nothing can be accomplished tmless 
the powers entering into the agreement act in 
precisely the reverse way from that in which 
President Wilson and Secretary Bryan have acted 
as regards the Hague conventions and the all- 
inclusive arbitration treaties during the past six 



months. The prime fact to consider in securing 
any peace agreement worth entering into, or that 
will have any except a mischievous effect, is that 
the nations entering into the agreement shall 
make no promises that ought not to be made, 
that they shall in good faith live up to the prom- 
ises that are made, and that they shall put their 
whole strength tmitedly back of these promises 
against any nation which refuses to carry out the 
agreement, or which, if it has not made the agree- 
ment, nevertheless violates the principles* whidi 
the agreement enforces* In other words, interna- 
tional agreements intended to produce peace must 
Iiroceed much along the lines of the Hague con- 
ventions; but a power signing them, as the United 
States signed the Hague conventions, must do so 
with the intention in good faith to see that they 
are carried out, and to use force to accomplish 
this, if necessary. 

To violate these conventions, to violate neu- 
trality treaties, as Germany has done in the case 
of Belgium, is a dreadful wrong. It repre- 
sents the gravest kind of international wrong- 
doing. But it is really not quite so contempt- 
ible, it does not show such short-sighted; and 
timid ineflBdency, and, above all, siu:h selfish in- 
difference to the cause of permanent and righteous 
peace as has been shown by us of the United States 
(thanks to President Wilson and Secretary Bryan) 


in refusing to fulfil our solemn obligations by 
taking whatever action was necessary in order 
to clear our skirts from the guilt of tame acquies- 
cence in a wrong which we had solemnly under- 
taken to oppose. 

It has been a matter of very real regret to me 
to have to speak in the way I have felt obliged 
to speak as to German wrong-doing in Belgium, 
because so many of my friends, not only Ger- 
mans, but Americans of German birth and even 
Americans of German descent, have felt aggrieved 
at my position. As regards my friends, the 
Americans of German birth or descent, I can 
only say that they are in honor bound to regard 
all international matters solely from the stand- 
point of the interest of the United States, and 
of the demands of a lofty international morality. 
I recognize no divided allegiance in American 
citizenship. As regards Germany, my stand 
is for the real interest of the mass of the Ger- 
man people. If the German people as a whole 
would only look at it rightly, they would see 
that my position is predicated upon the assump- 
tion that we ought to act as unhesitatingly in 
favor of Germany if Germany were wronged as 
in favor of Belgium when Belgitun is wronged. 

There are in Germany a certain number of 
Germans who adopt the Treitschke and Bemhardi 
view of Germany's destiny and of international 


morality generally. These men are fundamen- 
tally exactly as hostile to America as to all other 
foreign powers. They look down with con- 
tempt upon Americans as well as upon all other 
foreigners. They regard it as their right to sub- 
due these inferior beings. They acknowledge 
toward them no duty, in the sense that duty is 
understood between equals. I call the attention 
of my fellow Americans of German origin who 
wish this country to act toward Belgium, not in 
accordance with American traditions, interests, 
and ideals, but in accordance with the pro- 
German sympathies of certain citizens of Ger- 
man descent, to the statement of Treitschke that 
"to civilization at large the [Americanizing] of the 
German- Americans means a heavy loss. Among 
Germans there can no longer be any question 
that the civilization of mankind suffers every 
time a German is transformed into a Yankee.*' 

I do not for one moment believe that the men 
who follow Treitschke in his hatred of and con- 
tempt for all non-Germans, and Bemhardi in his 
contempt for international morality, are a ma- 
jority of the German people or even a very large 
minority. I think that the great majority of the 
Germans, who have approved Germany's action 
toward Belgium, have been influenced by the feel- 
ing that it was a vital necessity in order to save 
Germany from destruction and subjugation by 


France and Russia, perhaps assisted by England. 
Pear of national destruction will prompt men to 
do almost anything, and the proper remedy for 
outsiders to work for is the removal of the fear. 
If Germany were absolutely freed from danger of 
aggression on her eastern and western frontiers, I 
believe that German public sentiment would refuse 
to sanction such acts as those against Belgitun. 
The only effective way to free it from this fear is 
to have outside nations like the United States in 
good faith undertake the obligation to defend 
Germany's honor and territorial integrity, if at- 
tacked, exactly as they would defend the honor 
and territorial integrity of Belgitmi, or of Prance, 
Russia, Japan, or England, or any other well- 
behaved, civilized power, if attacked. 

This can only be achieved by some such world 
league of peace as that which I advocate. Most 
important of all, it can only be achieved by the 
willingness and ability of great, free powers to 
put might bade of right, to make their protest 
against wrong-doing effective by, if necessary, 
ptmishing the wrong-doer. It is this fact whidi 
makes the clamor of the pacificists for ''peace, 
peace," without any regard to righteousness, so 
abhorrent to all right-thinking people. There are 
multitudes of professional pacificists in the United 
States, and of well-meaning but ill-informed per- 
sons who sympathize with them from ignorance. 


There are not a few astute persons, bankers of 
foreign birth, and others, who wish to take sinister 
advantage of the folly of these persons, in the in- 
terest of Germany. All of these men damor for 
immediate peace. They wish the United States 
to take action for immediate peace or for a truce, 
under conditions designed to leave Belgium with 
her wrongs unredressed and in the possession of 
Germany. They strive to bring about a peace 
which would contain within itself the elements of 
frightful futtue disaster, by making no effective 
provision to prevent the repetition of such wrong- 
doing as has been inflicted upon Belgium. ' All of 
the men advocating such action, including the 
professional pacificists, the big business men 
largely of foreign birth, and the well-meaning but 
feeble-minded creatures among their allies, and 
including especially all those who from sheer 
timidity or weakness shrink from duty, occupy 
a thoroughly base and improper position. The 
peace advocates of this stamp stand on an exact 
par with men who, if there was an epidemic of 
lawlessness in New York, should come together 
to demand the immediate cessation of all activity 
by the police, and should propose to substitute 
for it a request that the highwaymen, white 
slavers, black-handers, and burglars cease their 
activities for the moment on condition of retaining 
undisturbed possession of the ill-gotten spoils they 


had already acquired. The only effective friend 
of peace in a big city is the man who makes the 
police force thoroughly efficient, who tries to re- 
move the causes of crime, but who unhesitatingly 
insists upon the punishment of criminals. Pacific- 
ists who believe that all use of force in inter- 
national matters can be abolished will do well to 
remember that the only efficient police forces are 
those whose members are scrupulously careful not 
to conunit acts of violence when it is possible to 
avoid them, but who are willing and able, when the 
occasion arises, to subdue the worst kind of wrong- 
doers by means of the only argument that wrong- 
doers respect, namely, successful force. What is 
thus true in private life is similarly true in inter- 
national affairs. 

No man can venture to state the exact details 
that should be followed in securing such a world 
league for the peace of righteousness. But, not 
to leave the matter nebulous, I submit the fol- 
lowing plan. It would prove entirely workable, 
if nations entered into it with good faith, and if 
they treated their obligations under it in the spirit 
in which the United States treated its obligations 
as regarded the independence of Cuba, giving 
good government to the Philippines, and build- 
ing the Panama Canal; the same spirit in which 
England acted when the neutrality of Belgitun 
was violated. 




AH the civilized powers which are able and 
willing to furnish and to use force, when force is 
required to back up righteousness— and only the 
civilized powers who possess virile manliness of 
character and the willingness to accept risk and 
labor when necessary to the performance of duty 
are entitled to be considered in this matter — 
should join to create an international tribunal 
and to provide rules in accordance with which 
that tribunal should act. These rules would have 
to accept the status quo at some given period; for 
the endeavor to redress all historical wrongs 
would throw us back into chaos. They would 
lay down the rule that the territorial integrity of 
each nation was inviolate; that it was to be guar- 
anteed absolutely its sovereign rights in certain 
particulars, including, for instance, the right to 
decide the terms on which immigrants should be 
admitted to its borders for purposes of residence, 
citizenship, or business; in short, all its rights in 
matters affecting its honor and vital interest. 
Each nation should be guaranteed against hav- 
ing any of these specified rights infringed upon. - 
They would not be made arbitrable, any more I 
than an individual's right to life and limb is 
made arbitrable; they would be mutually guar- 
anteed. All other matters that could arise be- 
tween these nations should be settled by the in- 
ternational court. The judges should act not as ' 


representatives, but purely as judges, 
and in any given case it would probably be well 
to choose them by lot, excluding, of course, the 
representatives of the powers whose interests 
were concerned. Then, and most important, the 
nations should severally guarantee to use their 
entire military force, if necessary, against any 
nation which defied the decrees of the tribunal 
or which violated any of the rights which in the 
rules it was expressly stipulated should be re- 
served to the several nations, the rights to their 
territorial integrity and the like. Under such 
conditions — ^to make matters concrete — Belgium 
would be safe from any attack such as that made 
by Germany, and Germany would be relieved 
from the haunting fear its. people now have lest 
the Russians and the French, backed by other 
nations, smash the empire and its people. 

In addition to the contracting powers, a cer- 
tain ntunber of outside nations should be named 
as entitled to the benefits of the court. These 
nations shotdd be chosen from those which are 
as civilized and well-behaved as the great con- 
tracting nations, but which, for some reason or 
other, are tmwilling or unable to guarantee to help 
execute the decrees of the court by force. They 
would have no right to take part in the nomina- 
tion of judges, for no people are entitled to do 
anything toward establishing a court unless they 


are able and willing to face the risk, labor, and self- 
sacrifice necessary in order to put police power 
behind the court. But they would be treated 
with exact justice; and in the event of any one of 
the great contracting powers having trouble with 
one of them, they would be entitled to go into 
court, have a decision rendered, and see the de- 
cision supported, precisely as in the case of a dis- 
pute between any two of the great contracting 
powers themselves. 

No power should be admitted into the first 
circle, that of the contracting powers, unless it is 
civilized, well-behaved, and able to do its part in 
enforcing the decrees pf the court. China, for 
instance, could not be admitted, nor could Tur- 
key, although for different reasons, whereas such 
nations as Germany, France, England, Italy, 
Russia, the United States, Japan, Brazil, the 
Argentine, Chile, Uruguay, Switzerland, Holland, 
Sweden, Norway, Deimiark, and Belgium would 
all be entitled to go in. If China continues to 
behave as well as it has during the last few 
years it might soon go into the second line of 
powers which would be entitled to the benefits of 
the cotut, although not entitled to send judges to 
it. Mexico would, of course, not be entitled to 
admission at present into either circle. At pres- 
ent e^ery European power with the exception of 
Turkey would be so entitled; but sixty years 


ago the kingdom of Naples, for instance, would 
not have been entitled to come in, and there are 
various South American communities which at 
the present time would not be entitled to come in; 
and, of course, this would at present be true of 
most independent Asiatic states and of all inde- 
pendent African states. The council should have 
power to exclude any nation which completely fell 
from civilization, as Mexico, partly with the able 
assistance of President Wilson's administration, 
has fallen during the past few years. There are 
various South and Central American states which 
have never been entitled to the consideration as civ- 
ilized, orderly, self-respecting powers which would 
entitle them to be treated on terms of equality in 
the fashion indicated. As regards these dis- 
orderly and weak outsiders, it might weU be that 
after a while some method would be devised to 
deal with them by common agreement of the civi- 
lized powers; but tmtil this was devised and put 
into execution they would have to be left as at 

Of course, grave difficulties would be encoun- 
tered in devising such a plan and in administer- 
ing it afterward, and no human being can guar- 
antee that it would absolutely succeed. But I 
believe that it could be made to work and that it 
would mark a very great improvement over what 
obtains now. At this moment there is hell in 


Belgium and hell in Mexico; and the ultrdpadf- 
icistsf in this country have their full share of the 
responsibility for this hell. They are not primary 
factors in producing it. They lack the virile 
power to be primary factors in producing anjrthing, 
good or evil, that needs daring and endurance. 
But they are secondary factors; for the man who 
tamely acquiesces in wrong-doing is a secondary 
factor in producing that wrong-doing. Most cer- 
tainly the proposed plan would be dependent upon 
reasonable good faith for its successful working, 
but this is only to say what is also true of every 
human institution. Under the proposed plan there \ 
would be a strong likelihood of bettering world! 
conditions. If it is a Utopia, it is a Utopia of a 
very practical kind. ^ 

Such a plan is as yet in the realm of mere specu- 
lation. At present the essential thing for each 
self-respecting, liberty-loving nation to do is to 
put itself in position to defend its own rights. Re- 
cently President Wilson, in his message to Con- 
gress, has announced that we are in no danger and 
will not be in any danger; and ex-President Taft 
has stated that the awakening of interest in our 
defenses indicates "mild hysteria. •* Such utter- 
ances show fatuous indifference to the teachings 
of history* They represent precisely the attitude 
which a century ago led to the burning of Wash- 
ington by a small expeditionary hostile force, and 
to such paralyzing disasto: in war as almost to 


bring about the break-up of the Union. In his 
message President Wilson justifies a refusal to 
build up our navy by asking — as if we were discuss- 
ing a question of pure metaphysics — "When will 
the experts tell us just what kind of ships we should 
construct — ^and when will they be right for ten 
years together? Who shall tell us now what 
sort of navy to build ? " and actually adds, after 
posing and leaving unanswered these questions: 
"I turn away from the subject. It is not new. 
There is no need to discuss it.*' Lovers of Dickens 
who turn to the second paragraph of chapter XI 
of "Our Mutual Friend" will find this attitude of 
President Wilson toward preparedness interest- 
ingly paralleled by the attitude Mr. Podsnap took 
in * 'getting rid of disagreeables" by the use of the 
phrases, ''I don't want to know about them! I 
refuse to discuss them! I don't admit them!" thus 
"clearing the world of its most difl&cult problems 
by sweeping them behind him. For they affronted 
him." If during the last ten years England's at- 
titude toward preparedness for war and the up- 
building of her navy had been determined by 
statesmanship such as is set forth in these ut- 
terances of President Wilson, the island would 
now be trampled into bloody mire, as Belgitim 
has been trampled. If Germany had followed 
such advice — or rather no advice — dtiring the last 
ten years, she would now have been wholly im- 
able so much as to assert her rights anywhere. 


Let us immediately make our navy thoroughly 
efficient; and this can only be done by reversing 
the policy that President Wilson has followed for 
twenty-two months. Recently Secretary Daniels 
has said, as quoted by the press, that he intends 
to provide for the safety of both the Atlantic and 
Pacific coasts by dividing our war fleet between 
the two oceans. Such division of the fleet, having 
in view the disaster which exactly similar action 
brought on Russia ten years ago, would be 
literally a crime against the nation. Neither our 
foreign affairs nor our naval affairs can be satis- 
factorily managed when the President is willing 
to put in their respective departments gentlemen 
like Messrs, Bryan and Daniels. President Wil- 
son would not have ventured to make either of 
these men head of the Treasury Department, 
because he would thereby have offended the con- 
crete interests of American business men. But as 
Secretary of State and Secretary of the Navy the 
harm they do is to the coimtry as a whole. No 
concrete interest is inmiediately affected; and, as 
it is only our own common welfare in the future, 
only the welfare of our children, only the honor 
and interest of. the United States through the 
generations that are concerned, it is deemed safe 
to disregard this welfare and to take chances with 
our national honor and interest. 



LESSED are the peacemakers/' not merely 
the peace lovers; for action is what makes 
thought operative and valuable. Above 
all, the peace prattlers are in no way blessed. 
On the c6ntrary, only mischief has sprung from 
the activities of the professional peace prattlers, 
the ultrapadfidsts, who, with the shrill clamor of 
eunuchs, preach the gospel of the milk and water 
of virtue and scream that belief in the efiScacy of 
diluted moral mush is essential to salvation. 

It seems necessary every time I state my posi- 
tion to guard against the counterwords of wilful 
folly by reiterating that my disagreement with 
the peace-at-any-price men, the ultrapacifidsts, is 
not in the least because they favor peace. I ob- 
ject to them, first, because they have proved 
themselves futile and impotent in working for 
peace, and, second, because they commit what is 
not merely the capital error but the crime against 
morality of failing to uphold righteousness as the 



all-important end toward which we should strive. 
In actual practice they advocate the peace of un- 
righteousness just as fervently as they advocate 
the peace of righteousness. I have as little sym- 
pathy as they have for the mai who deify mere 
brutal force, who insist that power justifies wrong- 
doing, and who declare that there is no such 
thing as international morality. But the ultra- 
pacificists really play into the hands of these 
men. To condemn equally might which backs 
right* and might which overthrows right is to 
render positive service to wrong-doers. It is as 
if in private life we condemned alike both the 
policeman and the d3niamiter or black-hand kid- 
napper or white slaver whom he has arrested. 
To denounce the nation that wages war in self- 
defense, or from a generous desire to relieve the 
oppressed, in the same terms in which we de- 
nounce war waged in a spirit of greed or wanton 
folly stands on an exact par with denouncing 
equally a murderer and the policeman who, at 
peril of his life and by force of arms, arrests the 
murderer. In each case the denunciation denotes 
not loftiness of soul but weakness both of mind 
and of morals. 

In a capital book, by a German, Mr. Edmund 
von Mach, entitled "What Germany Wants,** 
there is the following noble passage at the out- 


During the pieparation of this book the writer received 
from his uncle, a veteran army officer living in Dresden, 
a brief note containing the following laconic record: 

'^1793, your great-grandfather at Kostheim. 

''i8iS> your grandfather at Liegnitz. 

" 1870, m3rself — ^all severely woimded by French bullets. 

'' 1914, my son, captain in the 6th Regiment of Dra- 

"Four generations obliged to fight the French!" 

When the writer turns to his American friends of 
French descent, he finds there similar records, and often 
^ven greater sorrow, for death has come to many of them. 
In Europe their families and his have looked upon each 
other as enemies for generations, while a few years in 
the clarifying atmosphere of America have made friends 
of former Frenchmen, Germans, Russians, and English- 

Jointly they pray that the present war may not be 
carried to such a pass that an early and honorable peace 
becomes impossible for any one of these great nations. 
Is it asking too much that America may be vouchsafed 
in not too distant a future to do for their respective 
native lands what the American institutions have done 
for them individually, help them to regard each other 
at their true worth, unblinded by traditional hatred or 
fiery passion? 

It is in th^ spirit of this< statement that we 
Americans shotdd act. We are a people different 
from, but akin, to all the nations of Europe. We 
should feel a real friendship for each of the con- 
testing powers and a real desire to work so as to 
secure justice for each. This cannot be done by 


preserving a tame and spiritless neutrality which 
treats good and evil on precisely the same basis. 
Such a neutrality never has enabled and never 
will enable any nation to do a great work for 
righteousness. Our true course should be to judge 
each nation on its conduct, tinhesitatingly to an- 
tagonize every nation that does ill as regards the 
point on which it does ill, and equally without 
hesitation to act, as cool-headed and yet generous 
wisdom may dictate, so as disinterestedly to fur- 
ther the welfare of all. 

One of the greatest of international duties 
ought to be the protection of small, highly civi- 
lized, well-behaved, and self-respecting states from 
oppression and conquest by their powerful mili- 
tary neighbors. Such nations as Belgium, Hol- 
land, Switzerland, Uruguay, Denmark, Norway, 
and Sweden play a great and honorable part in 
the development of civilization. The subjugation 
of any one of them is a crime against, the destruc- 
tion of any one of them is a loss to, mankind. 

I feel in the strongest way that we should 
have interfered, at least to the extent of the 
most emphatic diplomatic protest and at the 
very outset — and then by whatever further action 
was necessary — ^in regard to the violation of the 
neutrality of Belgium ; for this act was the earliest 
and the most important and, in its consequences, 
the most ruinous of all 'the violations and offenses 


against treaties committed by any combatant 
during the war. But it was not ^e only one. 
The Japanese and English forces not long after 
violated Chinese neutrality in attacking Kiao- 
Chau. It has been alleged and not denied that 
the British ship Highflyer sunk the Kaiser WUhelm 
der Grosse in neutral Spanish waters, this being 
also a violation of the Hague conventions; and 
on October loth the German government issued 
an official protest about alleged violations of the 
Geneva convention by the French. Furthermore, 
the methods employed in strewing porticms of 
the seas with floating mines have been such as to 
warrant the most careful investigation by any 
neutral nations which treat neutrality pacts and 
Hague conventions as other than merely dead 
letters. Not a few offenses have been committed 
against our own people. 

If, instead of observing a timid and spiritless 
neutrality, we had lived up to our obligations by 
taking action in all of these cases without regard 
to which power it was that was alleged to have 
done wrong, we would have followed the only 
course that would both have told for world right- 
eousness ahd have served our own self-respect. 
The course actually followed by Messrs. Wilson, 
Bryan, and Danids has been to permit our own 
power for self-defense steadily to diminish while 
at the same time refusing to do what we were 


solemnly bound to do in order to protest against 
wrong and to render some kind of aid to weak 
nations that had been wronged. Inasmuch as, in 
the first and greatest and the most ruinous case 
of violation of neutral rights and of international 
morality, this nation, under the guidance of Messrs. 
Wilson and Bryan, kept timid silence and dared 
not protest, it would be — and is — ^an act of de- 
liberate bad faith to protest only as regards subse- 
quent and less important violations. Of coturse, if, 
as a people, we frankly take the ground that our 
actions are based upon nothing whatever but our 
own selfish and short-sighted interest, it is pos- 
sible to protest only against violations of neu- 
trality that at the moment unfavorably affect otu: 
own interests. Inaction is often itself the most 
offensive form of action; the administration has 
persistently refused to live up to the solemn na- 
tional obligations to strive to protect other tm- 
off ending nations from wrong; and this conduct 
adds a peculiar touch of hypocrisy to the action 
taken at the same time in signing a couple of score 
of all-inclusive arbitration treaties pretentiously 
heralded as serving world righteousness. If we 
had acted as we ought to have acted regarding 
Belgium we could then with a clear conscience 
have made effective protest regarding every other 
case of violation of the rights of neutrals or of 
offenses committed by the belligerents against one 


another or against us in violation of the Hague 
conventions. Moreover, the attitude of the ad- 
ministration has not even placated the powers 
it was desired to please. Thanks to its action, 
the United States during the last five months has 
gained neither the good-will nor the respect of 
any of the combatants. On the contrary, it has 
steadily grown rather more disliked and rather 
less respected by all of them. 

In facing a difficult and critical situation, any 
administration is entitled to a free hand until it 
has had time to develop the action which it con- 
siders appropriate, for often there is more than 
one way in which it is possible to take efficient 
action. But when so much time has passed, 
either without action or with only mischievous 
action, as gravely to compromise both the honor 
and the interest of the country, then it becomes 
a duty for self-respecting citizens to whom their 
cotmtry is dear to speak out. From the very 
outset I felt that the administration was following 
a wrong course. But no action of mine could 
make it take the right course, and there was a 
possibility that there was some object aside from 
political advantage in the course followed. I kept 
silence as long as silence was compatible with 
regard for the national honor and welfare. I 
spoke only when it became imperative to speak 
tmder penalty of tame acquiescence in tame fail- 


tire to perform national duty. It has become 
evident that the administration has had no plan 
whatever save the dexterous avoidance of all re- 
sponsibility and therefore of all duty, and the 
effort to persuade our people as a whole that this 
inaction was for their interest — combined with 
other less openly expressed and less worthy efforts 
of purely political type. 

There is therefore no longer any reason for 
failure to point out that if the President and Sec- 
retary of State had been thoroughly acquainted 
in advance, as of course they ought to have been 
acquainted, with^ the European situation, and if 
they had possessed an intelligent and resolute 
purpose squarely to meet their heavy responsi- 
bilities and thereby to serve the honor of this 
country and the interest of mankind, they would 
have taken action on July 29th, 3otl;i, or 31st, cer- 
tainly not later than August ist. On such oc- 
casions there is a peculiar applicability in the old 
proverb : Nine tenths of wisdom consists in being 
wise in time. If those responsible for the manage- 
ment of our foreign affairs had been content to 
dwell in a world of fact instead of a world of third- 
rate fiction, they would have tmderstood that at 
such a time of world crisis it was an tmworthy 
avoidance of duty to fuss with silly little all- 
inclusive arbitration ti^eaties when the need of 
the day demanded that they devote all their 


energies to the terrible problems of the day. 
They would have known that a German invasion 
of Switzerland was possible but improbable and 
a German invasion of Belgium overwhelmingly 
probable. They would have known that vigor- 
ous action by the United States government, 
taken with such entire good faith as to make it 
evident that it was in the interest of Belgium and 
not in the interest of France and England, and 
that if there was occasion it would be taken 
against Prance and England as quickly as against 
Germany, might very possibly have resulted in 
either putting a stop to the war or in localizing 
and narrowly circumscribing its area. It is, of 
course, possible that the action wotdd have failed 
of its immediate purpose. But even in that case 
it cannot be doubted that it would have been 
efficient as a check upon the subsequent wrongs 

Nor was the opportunity for action limited in 
time. Even if the administration had failed thus 
to act at the outset of the war, the protests 
officially made both by the German Emperor and 
by the Belgian goverxmient to the President as 
to alleged misconduct in the prosecution of the 
war not only gave him warrant for action but re- 
quired him to act. Meanwhile, from th^ moment 
when the war was declared, it became inexcus- 
able of the administration not to take immediate 


steps to put the navy into efficient shape, and at 
least to make our military forces on land more re* 
spectable. It is possible not to justify but to ex- 
plain the action of the administration in using the 
navy for the sixteen months prior to this war in 
such a way as greatly to impair its efficiency; for 
of course when the President selected Mr. Daniels 
as Secretary of the Navy he showed, on the sup- 
position that he was not indifferent to its welfare, 
an entire ignorance of what that welfare demanded ; 
and therefore the failure to keep the navy efficient 
may have been due at first to mere inability to 
exercise foresight. But with w«r impending, such 
failure to exercise foresight became inexcusable. 
None of the effective fighting craft are of any 
real use so far as Mexico is concerned. The navy 
should at once have been assembled in northern 
waters, either in the Atlantic or the Pacific, and 
immediate steps taken to bring it to the highest 
point of efficiency. 

It is because I believe our attitude should be 
one of sincere good-will toward all nations that I 
so strongly feel that we should endeavor to work 
for a league of peace among all nations rather 
than trust to alliances with any partictdar group. 
Moreover, alliances are very shifty and uncer- 
tain. Within twenty years England has regarded 
Prance as her immediately dangerous opponent; 
within ten years she has felt that Russia was the 


one power against which she must at all costs 
guard herself; and during the same period there 
have been times when Belgium has hated England 
with a peculiar fervor. Alliances must be based 
on self-interest and must continually shift. But 
in such a world league as that of which we speak 
and dream, the test would be conduct and not 
merely selfish interest, and so there wotdd be no 
shifting of policy. 

It is not yet opportune to discuss in detail the 
exact method by which the nations of the world 
shall put the collective strength of civilization 
behind the purpose of civilization to do right, 
using as an instrumentality for peace such a 
world league. I have in the last chapter given 
the bare outline of such a plan. Probably at the 
outset it would be an absolute impossibility to 
devise a non-national or purely international 
police force which would be effective in a great 
crisis. The prime necessity is that all the great 
nations should agree in good faith to use their 
combined warUke strength to coerce any nation, 
whichever one it may be, that declines to abide 
the decision of some competent international tri- 

Our business is to create the beginnings of in- 
ternational order out of the world of nations as 
these nations actually exist. We do not have to 
deal with a world of pacificists and therefore we 



must proceed on the assiimption that treaties will 
never acquire sanctity until nations are ready to 
seal them with their blood. We are not striving 
for peace in heaven. That is not our affair. What 
we were bidden to strive for is "peace on earth 
and good-will toward men." To fulfil this in- 
jtmction it is necessary to treat the earth as it is 
and men as they are, as an indispensable pre- 
requisite to making the earth a better place in 
which to Uve and men better fit to live in it. It 
is inexcusable moral culpability on our part to 
pretend to carry out this injunction in such fashion 
as to nullify it ; and this we do if we make believe 
that the earth is what it is not and if our profes- 
sions of bringing good-will toward men are in 
actual practice shown to be empty shams. Peace 
congresses, peace parades, the appointment and 
celebration of days of prayer for peace, and the 
like, which result merely in giving the participants 
the feeling that they have accomplished some- 
thing and are therefore to be excused from hard, 
practical work for righteousness, are empty 
shams. Treaties such as the recent all-inclusive 
arbitration treaties are worse than empty shams 
and convict us as a nation of moral culpability 
when our representatives sign them at the same 
time that they refuse to risk anything to make 
good the signatures we have already affixed to 
the Hague conventions. 


Moderate and sensible treaties which mean 
something and which can and will be enforced 
mark a real advance for the human race. As 
has been well said: ''It is our business to make 
no treaties which we are not ready to maintain 
with all our resources, for every such 'scrap of 
paper' is like a forged check — ^an assault on our 
credit in the world." Promises that are idly 
given and idly broken represent profound detri- 
ment to the morality of nations. Until no promise 
is idly entered into and until promises that have 
once been made are kept, at no matter what cost 
of risk and effort and positive loss, jtist so long 
will distrust and suspicion and wrong-doing rack 
the world. No honest lawyer will hesitate to 
advise his client against signing a contract either 
detrimental to his interests or impossible of ftd- 
filment; and the individual who signs such a con- 
tract at once makes himself either an object of 
suspicion to sound-headed men or else an x)bject 
of derision to all men. One of the stock jokes in 
the comic columns of the newspapers refers to 
the man who swears off or takes the pledge, or 
makes an indefinite number of good resolutions 
on New Year's Day, and fails to keep his pledge 
or promise or resolution; this was one of Mark 
Twain's favorite subjects for derision. The man 
who continually makes new promises without 
living up to those he has already made, and who 


takes pledges which he breaks, is rightly treated 
as an object for contemptuous fun. The nation 
which behaves in like manner deserves no, higher 

The conduct of President Wilson and Secretary 
Bryan in signing these all-inclusive treaties at the 
same time that they have kept silent about the 
breaking of the Hague conventions has repre- 
sented the kind of wrong-doing to this nation 
that would be represented in private life by the 
conduct of the individuals who sign such con- 
tracts as those mentioned. The administration 
has looked on without a protest while the Hague 
conventions have been torn up and thrown to 
the wind. It has watched the papef structure 
of good-will collapse without taking one step to 
prevent it; and yet foolish pacificists, the very 
men who in the past have been most vociferous 
about international morality, have praised it for 
this position. The assertion that our neutrality 
carries with it the obligation to be silent when 
our own Hague conventions are destroyed repre- 
sents an active step against the peace of righteous- 
ness. The only way to show that our faith in 
public law was real was to protest against the as- 
sault on international morality implied in the 
invasion of Belgium. 

Unless some one at some time is ready to take 
some chance for the sake of internationalism, that 


is of international morality, it will remain what it 
is to-day, ati object of derision to aggressive na- 
tions. Even if nothing more than an emphatic 
protest had been made against what was done 
in Belgium — it is not at this time necessary for 
me to state exactly what, in my judgment, ought 
to have been done — ^the foundations would have 
been laid for an effective world opinion against 
international cynicism. Pacificists daim that 
we have acted so as to preserve the good-will 
of Europe and to exercise a guiding influence in 
the settlement of the war. This is an idea which 
appeals to the thoughtless, for it gratifies our de- 
sire to keep out of trouble and also our vanity by 
the hope that we shall do great things with small 
di£Sculty. It may or may not be that the settle- 
ment will finally be made by a' peace congress in 
which the President of the United States will hold 
titular position of headship. But under conditions 
as they are now the real importance of the Presi- 
dent in such a peace congress will be comparable 
to the real importance of the drum-major when he 
walks at the head of a regiment. Small boys re- 
gard the drum-major as much more important 
than the regimental commander; and the pacificist 
grown-ups who applaud peace congresses some- 
times show as regards the dnun-majors of these 
congresses the same touching lack of insight which 
small boys show toward real drum-majors. As a 


matter of fact, if the United States enters such a 
congress with nothing but a record of comfortable 
neutrality or tame acquiescence in violated Hague 
conventions, plus an array of vague treaties with 
no relation to actual facts, it will be allowed to 
fill the position of international drum-major and 
of nothing more; and even this position it will be 
allowed to fill only so long as it suits the con- 
venience of the men who have done the actual 
fighting. The warring nations will settle the 
issues in accordance with their own strength and 
position. Under such conditions we shall be 
treated as we deserve to be treated, as a nation 
of people who mean well feebly, whose words are 
not backed by deeds, who like to prattle about 
both their own strength and their own righteous- 
ness, but who are unwilling to run the risks with- 
out which righteousness cannot be effectively 
served, and who are also imwilling to undergo 
the toil of intelligent and hard-working prepara- 
tion without which strength when tested proves 

In this world it is as true of nations as of in- 
dividuals that the things best worth having are 
rarely to be obtained in cheap fashion. There 
is nothing easier than to meet in congresses and 
conventions and pass resolutions in favor of 
virtue. There is also nothing more futile imless 
those passing the resolutions are willing to make 


them good by labor and endurance and active 
courage and self-denial. Readers of John Hay's 
poems will remember the scorn therein expressed 
for those who ''resoloot till the cows come home," 
but do not put effort back of their words. Those 
who would teach our people that service can be 
rendered or greatness attained in easy, comfort- 
able fashion, without facing risk, hardship, and 
difficulty, are teaching what is false and mis- 
chievous. Courage, hard work, self-mastery, and 
intelligent effort are all essential to successful life. 
As a rule, the slothful ease of life is in inverse 
proportion to its true success. This is true of the 
private lives of farmers, business men, and me- 
chanics. It is no less true of the life of the nation 
which is made up of these farmers, business men, 
and mechanics. 

As yet, as events have most painfully shown, 
there is nothing to be expected by any nation in a 
great crisis from anything except its own strength. ^ 
Under these circumstances it is criminal in the 
United States not to prepare. Critics have 
stated that in advocating, tmiversal military 
service on the Swiss plan in this country, I am 
advocating militarism. I am not concerned with 
mere questions of terminology. The plan I ad- 
vocate would be a corrective of every evil which 
we associate with the name of militarism. It 
would tend for order and self-respect among our 




people. Not the smallest evil among the many' 
evils that exist in America is due to militarism. 
Save in the crisis of the Civil War there has been 
no militarism in the United States and the only 
miUtarist President we have ever had was Abraham 
Lincoln. Universal service of the Swiss tjrpe 
would be educational in the highest and best 
sense of the word. In Switzerland, as compared 
with the United States, there are, relatively to 
the population, only one tenth the number of 
murders and of crimes of violence. Doubtless 
other causes have contributed to this, but doubt- 
less also the intelligent collective training of the 
Swiss people in habits of obedience, of self-reliance, 
self-restraint and endurance, of applied patriot- 
ism and collective action, has been a very potent 
factor in producing this good result. 

As I have already said, I know of my own 
knowledge that two nations which on certain occa- 
sions were obliged, perhaps as much by our fault 
as by theirs, to take into account the question 
of possible war with the United States, planned 
in such event to seize the Panama Canal and 
to take and ransom or destroy certain of our 
great coast cities. They planned this partly in 
the belief that our navy would intermittently be 
allowed to become extremely inefficient, just as 
during the last twenty months it has become in- 
efficient, and partly in the belief that our people 


are so wholly ttnmilitary, and so ridden to death 
on the one hand by foolish pacificists and on the 
other by brutal materialists whose only God is 
money, that we would not show ourselves either 
resolutely patriotic or efficient even in what be- 
lated action our utter lack of preparation per- 
mitted us to take. I believe that these nations 
were and are wrong in their estimate of the tmder- 
lying strength of the American character. I be- 
lieve that if war did really come both the ultra- 
pacificists, the peace-at-any-price men, and the 
merely brutal materialists, who count all else as 
nothing compared to the gratification of their 
greed for gain or their taste for ease, for pleasure, 
and for vacuous excitement, would be driven 
before the gale of popular feeling as leaves are 
driven through the fall woods. But such aroused 
public feeling in the actual event would be 
wholly inadequate to make good our failure to 

We should in all humility imitate not a little of 
the spirit so much in evidence among the Germans 
and the Japanese, the two nations which in 
modem times have shown the most practical type 
of patriotism, the greatest devotion to the com- 
mon weal, the greatest success in developing their 
economic resources and abilities from within, 
and the greatest far-sightedness in safeguarding 
the country against possible disaster from with- 


out. In the Journal of the Military Service In- 
stitution for the months of November and De- 
cember of the present year will be f oimd a 
quotation from a Japanese military paper, The 
Comrades* Magazine, which displays an amount of 
practical good sense together with patriotism and 
devotion to the welfare of the average man which 
cotdd well be copied by our people and which is 
worthy of study by every intelligent American. 
Germany's success in industrialism has been as 
extraordinary and noteworthy as her success in 
securing military efficiency, and fundamentally 
has been due to the development of the same 
qualities in the nation. 

At present the United States does not begin to 
get adequate return in the way of efficient prepa- 
ration for defense from the amount of money ap- 
propriated every year. Both the executive and 
Congress are responsible for this — and of course 
this means that the permanent and ultimate re- 
sponsibility rests on the people. It is really less a 
question of spending mpre money than of knowing 
how to get the best restdts for the money that we 
do spend. Most emphatically there should be a 
comprehensive plan both for defense and for ex- 
pendittire. The best military and naval author- 
ities — ^not merely the senior officers but the best 
officers — should be required to produce compre- 
hensive plans for battle-ships, for submarines, for 


air-ships, for proper artillery, for a more efficient 
regular army, and for a great popular reserve 
bdiind the army. Every useless military post 
should be forthwith abandoned; and this cannot 
be done save by getting Congress to accept or 
reject plans for defense and expendittire in their 
entirety. If each congressman or senator can put 
in his special plea for the erection or retention 
of a military post for non-military reasons, and 
for the promotion or favoring of some given officer 
or group of officers also for non-military reasons, 
we can rest assured that good results can never be 
obtained. Here, again, what is needed is not plans 
by outsiders but the insistence by outsiders upon 
the army and navy officers being required to pro- 
duce the right plans, being backed up when, they 
do produce the right plans, and being held to a 
strict accountability for any failure, active or 
passive, in their duty. 

Moreover, these plans must be treated as part 
of the coherent policy of the nation in interna- 
tional affairs. With a gentleman like Mr. Bryan 
in the State Department it may be accepted as 
absolutely certain that we never will have the 
highest grade of efficiency in the Departments of 
War and of the Navy. With a gentleman like 
Mr. Daniels at the head of the navy, it may be 
accepted as certain that the navy will not be 
brought to the level of its possible powers. This 


means that the people as a whole must demand of 
their leaders that they treat seriously the navy 
and army and our foreign policy. 

The waste in our navy and army is very great. 
This is inevitable as long as we do not discriminate 
against the inefficient and as long as we fail to 
put a premium upon efficiency. When I was 
President I f otmd out that a very large propor- 
tion of the old officers of the army and even of 
the navy were physically incompetent to perform 
many Jf their duties. The pSbHc was wholly 
indifferent on the subject. Congress would not 
act. As a preliminary, and merely as a prelimi- 
nary, I established a regulation that before pro^ 
motion officers should be required to walk fifty 
miles or ride one hundred miles in three days. 
This was in no way a sufficient test of an officer's 
fitness. It merely served to rid the service of 
men whose unfitness was absolutely ludicrous. 
Yet in Congress and in the newspapers an ex- 
traordinary din was raised against this test on 
the ground that it was tmjust to faithful elderly 
officers! The pacificists promptly assailed it on 
the grptmd that to make the army efficient was a 
"warlike" act. All kinds of philanthropists, in- 
cluding clergymen and college presidents, wrote 
me that my action showed not only callousness of 
heart but also a regrettable spirit of militarism. 
Any officer who because of failure to come up to 


the test or for other reasons was put out of the 
service was certain to receive ardent congressional 
championship; and every kind of pressure was 
brought to bear on behalf of the unfit, while hardly 
the slightest effective championship was given 
the move from any outside source. This was be- 
cause public opinion was absolutely uneducated 
on the subject. In our coimtry the men who in 
time of peace speak loudest about war are usually 
the tdtrapacificists whose activities have been 
shown to be absolutely futile for peace, but who 
do a little mischief by persuading a ntmiber of 
well-meaning persons that preparedness for war 
is unnecessary. 

It is not desirable that civilians, acting inde- 
pendently of and without the help of military and 
naval advisers, shall prepare^ minute or detailed 
plans as to what ought to be done for our national 
defense. But civilians are competent to advocate 
plans in outline exactly as I have here advocated 
them. Moreover, and most important, they are 
competent to try to make public opinion effective 
in these matters. A democracy must have proper 
leaders. But4hese leaders must be able to appeal 
to a proper sentiment in the democracy. It is the 
. prime duty of every right-thinking citizen at this 
time to aid his fellow countrymen to understand 
the need of working wisely for peace, the folly 
of acting unwisely for peace, and, above all, the 


need of real and thorough national preparedness 
against war. 

Former Secretary of the Navy Bonaparte, in 
one of his admirable articles, in which he dis- 
cusses armaments and treaties, has spoken as 
follows : 

Indeed, it is so obviously impolitic, on the part of the 
administration and its party friends, to avow a purpose to 
keep the people in the dark as to our preparedness (or 
rather as to our virtually admitted unpreparedness) to 
protect the national interests, safety, and honor, that a 
practical avowal of such purpose on their part would seem 
altogether incredible, but for certain rather notorious 
facts developed by our experience during the last year 
and three quarters. 

It has gradually become evident, or, at least, probable 
that the mind (wherever that mind may be located) which 
determines, or has, as yet, determined, oiu: foreign policy 
under President Wilson, really relies upon a timid neu- 
trality and innumerable treaties of general arbitration as 
sufficient to protect us from foreign aggression; and ad- 
visedly wishes to keep us virtually imarmed and helpless 
to defend ourselves, so that a sense of our weakness may 
render us sufficiently pusillanimous to pocket all insults, 
to submit to any form of outrage, to resent no provocation, 
and to abdicate completely and forever the dignity and 
the duties of a great nation. 

In the absence of actual experience, a strong effort of 
the imagination would be required, at least on the part of 
the writer, to conceive of anybody's not finding such an 
outlook for his country utterly intolerable; but incredu- 
lity must yield to decisive proof. Even the votaries of 


this novel cult of cowardice, however, are evidently com- 
pelled to recognize that, as yet, they constitute a very 
small minority among Americans, and, for this reason, 
they would keep their fellow countrjrmen, as f ai; as may 
be practicable, in the dark as to our national weakness 
and our national dangers; they delight in gagging soldiers 
and sailors and, to the extent of their power, everybody 
else who may speak with any authority, and, if they could, 
would shut out every ray of light which might aid public 
opinion to see things as they are. 

• • • • • • •-• 

There is no room for difference as to the utter ab- 
surdity of reliance on treaties, no matter how solemn or 
with whomsoever made, as substitutes for proper arma- 
ments to assure the national safety; Belgium's fate stares 
in the face any one who should even dream of this. Her 
neutrality was established and guaranteed, not by one 
treaty but by several treaties, not by one power but by 
all the powers; yet she has been completely ruined because 
she relied upon these treaties, refused to violate them her- 
self and tried, in good faith, to fulfil the obligations they 
imposed on hev. 

For any public man, with this really terrible object-les- 
son before his eyes, to seriously ask us to believe that arbi- 
tration treaties or Hague tribunals or anything else within 
that order of ideas can be trusted to take the place of 
preparation impeaches either his sincerity or his sanity, 
and impeaches no less obviously the common sense of Ids 
readers or hearers. 

A nation unable to protect itself may have to pay a 
frightful price nowadays as a penalty for the misfortune 
of weakness; the Belgians may be, in a measure, consoled 
for their misfortune by the world's respect and sympathy; 
in the like case, we should be further and justly punished 



by the world's unbounded and merited contempt, for our 
weakness would be the fruit of our own ignominious 
cowardice and incredible folly. 

Secretary Garrison in his capital report says 
that if otir outlying possessions are even insuflS- 
ciently manned our mobile home army will con- 
sist of less than twenty-five thousand men, only 
about twice the size of the police force of New 
York City. Yet, in the face of this, certain news- 
paper editors, college presidents, pacificist bankers 
and, I regret to say, certain clergymen and phi- 
lanthropists enthusiastically champion the atti- 
tude of President Wilson and Mr. Bryan in reftis- 
ing to prepare for war. As one of them put it 
the other day: ''The way to prevent war is not 
to fight." Luxembourg did not fight! Does this 
gentleman regard the position of Luxembourg 
at this moment as enviable ? China has not re- 
cently fought. Does the gentleman think that 
China's position is in consequence a happy one ? 
If advisers of this type, if these college presidents 
and clergymen and editors of organs of ctdture 
and the philanthropists who give this advice spoke 
only for themselves, if the huiiiiliation and dis- 
grace were to come only on them, no one would 
have a right to object. They have servile souls; 
and if they chose serfdom of the body for them- 
selves only, it would be of small consequence to 
others. But, unfortunately, their words have a 


certain effect upon this country; and that effect 
is intolerably evil. Doubtless it is the influence 
of these men which is largely responsible for the 
attitude of the President. The President attacks 
preparedness in the name of antimilitarism. The 
preparedness we advocate is that of Switzerland, 
the least militaristic of countries. Autocracy may 
use preparedness for the creation of an aggressive 
and provocative militarism that invites and pro- 
duces war ; but in a democracy preparedness means 
security against aggression and the best guarantee 
of peace. The President in his message has in 
effect declared that his theory of neutrality, which 
is carried to the point of a complete abandon- 
ment of the rights of innocent small nations, and 
his theory of non-preparedness, which is carried 
to the point of gross national ineflfidency, are both 
means for securing to the United States a leading 
position in bringing about peace. The position 
he would thus secure would be merely that of 
drum-major at the peace conference; and he would 
do well to remember that if the peace that is 
brought about should result in leaving Belgium's 
wrongs tmredressed and turning Belgium over to 
Germany, in enthroning militarism as the chief 
factor in the modem world, and in consecrating 
the violation of treaties, then the United States, 
by taking part in such a conference, would have 
rendered an evil service to mankind. 


At present our navy is in wretched shape. Otir 
army is infinitesimal. This large, rich republic is 
far less efficient from a military standpoint than 
Switzerland, Holland, or Denmark. In spite of 
the fact that the officers and enlisted men of our 
navy and army offer material on the whole bet- 
ter than the officers and men of any other navy or 
army, these tjyo services have for so many years 
been neglected by Congress, and during the last 
two yeai:s have been so mishandled by the adminis- 
tration, that at the present time an energetic and 
powerf td adversary could probably with ease drive 
us not only from tibie Philippines but from Hawaii, 
and take possession of the Canal and Alaska. 
If invaded by a serious army belonging to some 
formidable Old World empire, we would be for 
many months about as helpless as China; and, 
as nowadays large armies can cross the ocean, 
we might be crushed beyond hope of recuperation 
inside of a decade. Yet those now at the head 
of public affairs refuse themselves to face facts 
and seek to mislead the people as to the facts. 

President Wilson is, of course, fully and com- 
pletely responsible for Mr. Bryan. Mr. Bryan 
appreciates this and loyaUy endeavors to serve 
the President and to come to his defense at all 
times. As soon as President Wilson had an- 
notmced that there was no need of pireparations 
to defend ourselves, because we loved everybody 


and everybody loved us and because our mission 
was to sfHread the gospel of peace, Mr. Biyan came 
to his support with hearty enthusiasm and said: 
''The President knows that if this country needed 
a million men, and needed them in a day, the call 
would go out at sunrise and the sun would go 
down on a million men in arms/' One of the 
President's stanchest newspaper adherents lost 
its patience over this utterance and remarked: 
''More foolish words than these of the Secretary 
of State were never spoken by mortal man in 
reply to a serious argument." However, Mr. 
Bryan had a good precedent, although he probably 
did not know it. Pompey, when threatened by 
Caesar, and told that his side was unprepared, 
responded that he had only to "stamp his foot" 
and legions would spring from the ground. In 
the actual event, the "stamping" proved as ef- 
fectual against Caesar as Mr. Bryan's "call" 
would under like circumstances. I once heard 
a Bryanite senator put Mr. Bryan's position 
a little more strongly than it occurred to Mr. 
Bryan himself to put it. The senator in question 
announced that we needed no regular army, be- 
^cause in the event of war "ten million freem^i 
would spring to arms, the equals of any regular 
soldiers in the world." I do not question the 
emotional or oratorical sincerity either of Mr. 
Bryan or of the senator. Mr. Bryan is accus- 


tomed to perfonning in vacuo; and both he and 
President Wilson, as regards foreign afiEairs, appar- 
ently believe they are living in a world of two 
dimensions, and not in the actual workaday world, 
which has three dimensions. This was equally 
true of the senator in question. If the senator's 
ten million men sprang to arms at this moment, 
they would have at the outside some four hundred 
thousand modem rifles to which to spring. Per- 
haps six hundred thousand more could spring to 
squirrel pieces and fairly good shotguns. The re- 
maining nine million men wotdd have to ''spring" 
to axes, scythes, hand-saws, gimlets, and similar 
arms. As for Mr. Bryan's million men who would 
at sunset respond under arms to a call made at 
sunrise, the suggestion is such a mere rhetorical 
flourish that it is not worthy even of htmiorous 
treatment; a high-school boy making such a 
statement in a theme would be marked zero by 
any competent master. But it is an exceedingly 
serious thing, it is not in the least a humorous 
thing, that the man making such a statement 
should be the chief adviser of the President in in- 
ternational matters, and should hold the highest 
office in the President's gift. 

Nor is Mr. Bryan in any way out* of sympathy 
with President Wilson in this matter. The Presi- 
dent, unlike Mr. Bryan, uses good English and does 
not say things that are on their face ridiculous. 


Unfortunately, his devemess of style and his en- 
tire refusal to face facts apparently make him be- 
lieve that he really has dismissed and done away 
with ugly realities whenever he has uttered some 
pretty phrase about them. This year we are in 
the presence of a crisis in the history of the world. 
In the terrible whirlwind of war all the great 
nations of the world, save the United States and 
Italy, are facing the supreme test of their, history. 
All of the pleasant and alluring but futile theories 
of the pacificists, all the theories enunciated in 
the peace congresses of the past twenty years, 
have vanished at the first sound of the drumming 
guns. The work of all the Hague conventions, 
and all the arbitration treaties, neutrality trea- 
ties, and peace^ treaties of the last twenty years 
has been swept before the gusts of war like with- 
ered leaves b^ore a November storm. In this 
great crisis the stem and actual facts have shown 
that the fate of each nation depends not in the 
least upon any elevated international aspirations 
to which it has given escpression in speech or 
treaty, but on practical preparation, on intensity 
of patriotism, on grim endurance, and on the pos- 
session of the fighting edge. Yet, in the face of all 
this, the President of the United States sends in a 
message dealing with national defense, which is 
filled with prettily phrased platitudes of the kind 
applauded at the less important type of peace 


congress, and with sentences cleverly turned to 
conceal from the average man the fact that the 
President has no real advice to give, no real policy 
to propose. There is just one point as to which he 
does show real purpose for a tangible end. He 
dwells eagerly upon the hope that we may obtain 
"the opportunity to counsel and obtain peace in 
the world" among the warring nations and ad- 
jures us not to jeopardize this chance (for the 
President to take part in the peace negotiations) 
by at this time maJdng any preparations for self- 
defense. In effect, we are asked not to put our 
own shores in defensible condition lest the Presi- 
dent may lose the chance to be at the head of the 
congress which may compose the differences of 
Europe. In effect, he asks us not to build up the 
navy, not to provide for an efficient citizen army, 
not to get ammunition for our guns and torpedoes 
for oiu: torpedo-tubes, lest somehow or other this 
may make the President of the United States an 
tmacceptable mediator between Germany and 
Great Britain! It is an honorable ambition for 
the President to desire to be of use in bringing 
about peace in Europe; but only on condition 
that the peace thus brought is the peace af right- 
eousness, and only on condition that he does not 
sacrifice this cotmtry's vital interests for a clatter 
of that kind of hollow applause through which 
runs an undertone of sinister jeering. He must 


not sacrifice to this ambition the supreme inter- 
est of the American people. Nor must he be- 
lieve that the possibility of his being umpire will 
have any serious effect on the terrible war game 
that is now being played; the outcome of the game 
will depend upon the prowess of the players. No 
gain will come to our nation, or to any other na- 
tion, if President Wilson permits himself to be 
deluded concerning the part the United States may 
take in the promotion of European peace. 

Peace in Europe will be made by the warring 
nations. They and they alone will in fact deter- 
mine the terms of settlement. The United States 
may be used as a convenient means of getting 
together ; but that is all. If the nations of Euroilb 
desire peace and our assistance in securing it, it 
will be because they have fought as long as they 
will or can. It will not be because they regard us 
as having set a spiritual example to them by 
sitting idle, uttering cheap platitudes, and picking 
up their trade, while they have poured out their 
blood like water in support of the ideals in which, 
with all their hearts and souls, they believe. For 
us to assume superior virtue in the face of the 
war-worn nations of the Old World will not make 
us more acceptable as mediators among them. 
Such self -consciousness on our part will not im- 
press the nations who have sacrificed and are 
sacrificing all that is dearest to them in the world. 


for the things that they believe to be the noblest 
in the world. The storm that is raging in Europe 
at this moment is terrible and evil; but it is also 
grand and noble. Untried men who live at ease 
will do well to remember that there is a certain 
sublimity even in Milton's defeated archangel, but 
none whatever in the spirits who kept neutral, 
who remained at peace, and dared side neither 
with hell nor wiljh heaven. They will also do 
well to remember that when heroes have battled 
together, and have wrought good and evil, and 
when the time has come out of the contest to get 
all the good possible and to prevent as far as pos- 
sible the evil from being made permanent, they 
will not be influenced much by the theory that 
soft and short-sighted outsiders have put them- 
selves in better condition to stop war abroad by 
making themselves defenseless at home. 





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